Dopamine increases lung liquid clearance during mechanical ventilation

F. J. Saldías, A. P. Comellas, L. Pesce, E. Lecuona, J. I. Sznajder*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


Short-term mechanical ventilation with high tidal volume (HVT) causes mild to moderate lung injury and impairs active Na+ transport and lung liquid clearance in rats. Dopamine (DA) enhances active Na+ transport in normal rat lungs by increasing Na+-K+-ATPase activity in the alveolar epithelium. We examined whether DA would increase alveolar fluid reabsorption in rats ventilated with HVT for 40 min compared with those ventilated with low tidal volume (LVT) and with nonventilated rats. Similar to previous reports, HVT ventilation decreased alveolar fluid reabsorption by ∼50% (P < 0.001). DA increased alveolar fluid reabsorption in nonventilated control rats (by ∼60%), LVT ventilated rats (by ∼55%), and HVT ventilated rats (by ∼200%). In parallel studies, DA increased Na+-K+-ATPase activity in cultured rat alveolar epithelial type II cells (ATII). Depolymerization of cellular microtubules by colchicine inhibited the effect of DA on HVT ventilated rats as well as on Na+-K+-ATPase activity in ATII cells. Neither DA nor colchicine affected the short-term Na+-K+-ATPase α1- and β1-subunit mRNA steady-state levels or total α1- and β1-subunit protein abundance in ATII cells. Thus we reason that DA improved alveolar fluid reabsorption in rats ventilated with HVT by upregulating the Na+-K+-ATPase function in alveolar epithelial cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)L136-L143
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Lung Cellular and Molecular Physiology
Issue number1 27-1
StatePublished - 2002


  • Alveolar fluid clearance
  • Na-K-ATPase

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)
  • Cell Biology


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