Cardiothoracic| Volume 185, ISSUE 2, e77-e83, December 2013

Pretreatment with sildenafil alleviates early lung ischemia-reperfusion injury in a rat model

Published:August 02, 2013DOI:



      Lung ischemia-reperfusion (I/R) injury plays an important role in lung transplantation. Less well known is the role of sildenafil in lung I/R injury; therefore, we attempted to determine whether sildenafil could alleviate lung apoptosis and tissue injury in a rat model.


      Forty male Sprague-Dawley rats were randomized into four groups: saline + sham, saline + I/R, sildenafil + sham, and sildenafil + I/R groups. Three hours before the operation, each rat received normal saline or sildenafil (10 mg/kg) by lavage. The animals designed to I/R injury were subjected to 2 h of ischemia induced by occlusion of left pulmonary artery, veins, and bronchus, followed by reperfusion for 2 h. The lung tissue was harvested for the analysis of the expression of Bax, Bcl-2, p53, caspase 3, tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha, interleukin (IL)-6, and wet/dry (W/D) weight ratio.


      Compared with the saline + sham group, the saline + I/R group had significant increases in Bax, p53, Bax/Bcl-2 ratio, caspase 3, IL-6, TNF-α, and W/D weight ratio but a decrease in Bcl-2 (P < 0.05). Compared with the saline + I/R group, sildenafil + I/R group had significant decreases in Bax, p53, Bax/Bcl-2 ratio, caspase 3, IL-6, TNF-α level, and W/D weight ratio but an increase in Bcl-2 expression (P < 0.05). Compared with the sildenafil + sham group, there were significant increases in p53 and TNF-α expression in the sildenafil + I/R group (P < 0.05).


      Pretreatment with sildenafil alleviates lung apoptosis and tissue injury in a rat model.


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