Increased susceptibility of purinergic receptor-deficient mice to lung infection with Pseudomonas aeruginosa

Cara Geary, Henry Akinbi, Tom Korfhagen, Jean Etienne Fahre, Richard Boucher, Ward Rice

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


Purinergic receptors are expressed throughout the respiratory system in diverse cell types. The efficiency of mucus clearance in the airways, the cascade leading to tissue injury, and inflammation are modulated by autocrine/paracrine release of nucleotides and signaling by purinergic receptors. We assessed the role of purinergic receptors in innate host defense of the lung in vivo by infecting mice deficient in P2Y1, P2Y 2, or both receptors with intratracheal instillation of Pseudomonas aeruginosa. After P. aeruginosa challenge, all double knockout (P2Y 1/P2Y2-/-) mice succumbed within 30 h of challenge, whereas 85% of the wild-type mice survived. Thirty-three percent of wild-type mice survived beyond 96 h. Single knockout mice, P2Y1-/-, or P2Y 2-/-, exhibited intermediate survivals. Twenty-four hours following intratracheal instillation of a sublethal dose of P. aeruginosa, the level of total protein in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid was 1.8-fold higher in double knockout than in wild-type mice (P < 0.04). Total cell count in bronchoalveolar lavage fluids at 4 h and levels of IL-6 and macrophage inflammatory protein-2 in lung homogenates at 24 h postchallenge were significantly reduced in P2Y1/P2Y2-/- mice relative to wild-type mice. These findings suggest that purinergic receptors exert a protective role against infection of the lungs by P. aeruginosa by decreasing protein leak and enhancing proinflammatory cytokine response.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)L890-L895
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Lung Cellular and Molecular Physiology
Issue number5 33-5
StatePublished - Nov 2005


  • Bacterial clearance
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Lungs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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