L-arginine attenuates acute lung injury after smoke inhalation and burn injury in sheep

Kazunori Murakami, Perenlei Enkhbaatar, Yong Ming Yu, Lillian D. Traber, Robert A. Cox, Hal K. Hawkins, Ronald G. Tompkins, David Herndon, Daniel L. Traber

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


Thermal injury results in reduced plasma levels of arginine (Arg). With reduced Arg availability, NOS produces superoxide instead of NO. We hypothesized that Arg supplementation after burn and smoke inhalation (B + S) injury would attenuate the acute insult to the lungs and, thus, protect pulmonary function. Seventeen Suffolk ewes (n = 17) were randomly divided into three groups: (1) sham injury group (n = 6), (2) B + S injury plus saline treatment (n = 6), and (3) B + S injury plus L-ARG infusion at 57 mg·kg·h (n = 5). Burn and smoke inhalation injury was induced by standardized procedures, including a 40% area full thickness flame burn combined with 48 breaths of smoke from burning cottons. All animals were immediately resuscitated by Ringer solution and supported by mechanical ventilation for 48 h, during which various variables of pulmonary function were monitored. The results demonstrated that Arg treatment attenuated the decline of plasma Arg concentration after B + S injury. A higher plasma Arg concentration was associated with a less decline in Pao2/Fio2 ratio and a reduced extent of airway obstruction after B + S injury. Histopathological examinations also indicated a remarkably reduced histopathological scores associated with B + S injury. Nitrotyrosine stain in lung tissue was positive after B + S injury, but was significantly reduced in the group with Arg. Therefore, L-Arg supplementation improved gas exchange and pulmonary function in ovine after B + S injury via its, at least in part, effect on reduction of oxidative stress through the peroxynitrite pathway.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)477-483
Number of pages7
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2007


  • ARDS
  • Airway obstruction
  • Arginine
  • NO
  • Thermal injury

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency Medicine
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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