Burn and smoke injury activates poly(adp-ribose)polymerase in circulating leukocytes

Eva Bartha, Sven Asmussen, Gabor Olah, Sebastian W. Rehberg, Yusuke Yamamoto, Daniel L. Traber, Csaba Szabo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


The nuclear enzyme poly(ADP-ribose)polymerase (PARP) plays a significant role in the pathogenesis of various forms of critical illness. DNA strand breaks induced by oxidative and nitrative stress trigger the activation of PARP, and PARP, in turn, mediates cell death and promotes proinflammatory responses. Until recently, most studies focused on the role of PARP in solid organs such as heart, liver, and kidney. We investigated the effect of burn and smoke inhalation on the levels of poly(ADP-ribosylated) proteins in circulating sheep leukocytes ex vivo. Adult female merino sheep were subjected to burn injury (2× 20% each flank, 3 degrees) and smoke inhalation injury (insufflated with a total of 48 breaths of cotton smoke) under deep anesthesia. Arterial and venous blood was collected at baseline, immediately after the injury and 1 to 24 h after the injury. Leukocytes were isolated with the Histopaque method. The levels of poly(ADP-ribosyl)ated proteins were determined by Western blotting. The amount of reactive oxygen species was quantified by the OxyBlot method. To examine whether PARP activation continues to increase ex vivo in the leukocytes, blood samples were incubated at room temperature or at 37°C for 3 h with or without the PARP inhibitor PJ34. To investigate whether the plasma of burn/smoke animals may trigger PARP activation, burn/smoke plasma was incubated with control leukocytes in vitro. The results show that burn and smoke injury induced a marked PARP activation in circulating leukocytes. The activity was the highest immediately after injury and at 1 h and decreased gradually over time. Incubation of whole blood at 37°C for 3 h significantly increased poly(ADP-ribose) levels, indicative of the presence of an ongoing cell activation process. In conclusion, PARP activity is elevated in leukocytes after burn and smoke inhalation injury, and the response parallels the time course of reactive oxygen species generation in these cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)144-148
Number of pages5
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Burn injury
  • leukocytes
  • poly(ADP-ribose)polymerase
  • smoke injury

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency Medicine
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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