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Open Access Research article

Alterations in the human lung proteome with lipopolysaccharide

Russell P Bowler1*, Nichole Reisdorph1, Richard Reisdorph1 and Edward Abraham2

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Medicine, National Jewish Health, Denver, Colorado, USA

2 Department of Medicine, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL, USA

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BMC Pulmonary Medicine 2009, 9:20  doi:10.1186/1471-2466-9-20

Published: 11 May 2009



Recombinant human activated protein C (rhAPC) is associated with improved survival in high-risk patients with severe sepsis; however, the effects of both lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and rhAPC on the bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) proteome are unknown.


Using differential in gel electrophoresis (DIGE) we identified changes in the BALF proteome from 10 healthy volunteers given intrapulmonary LPS in one lobe and saline in another lobe. Subjects were randomized to pretreatment with saline or rhAPC.


An average of 255 protein spots were detected in each proteome. We found 31 spots corresponding to 8 proteins that displayed abundance increased or decreased at least 2-fold after LPS. Proteins that decreased after LPS included surfactant protein A, immunoglobulin J chain, fibrinogen-γ, α1-antitrypsin, immunoglobulin, and α2-HS-glycoprotein. Haptoglobin increased after LPS-treatment. Treatment with rhAPC was associated with a larger relative decrease in immunoglobulin J chain, fibrinogen-γ, α1-antitrypsin, and α2-HS-glycoprotein.


Intrapulmonary LPS was associated with specific protein changes suggesting that the lung response to LPS is more than just a loss of integrity in the alveolar epithelial barrier; however, pretreatment with rhAPC resulted in minor changes in relative BALF protein abundance consistent with its lack of affect in ALI and milder forms of sepsis.