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The association between regional transcriptome profiles and lung volumes in response to mechanical ventilation and lung injury


Song, Y and Yen, S and Preissner, M and Bennett, E and Dubsky, S and Fouras, A and Dargaville, PA and Zosky, GR, The association between regional transcriptome profiles and lung volumes in response to mechanical ventilation and lung injury, Respiratory Research, 23, (1) Article 35. ISSN 1465-993X (2022) [Refereed Article]

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Copyright Statement

The Author(s) 2022. Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) License, ( which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made.

DOI: doi:10.1186/s12931-022-01958-2


Background: Lung inhomogeneity plays a pivotal role in the development of ventilator-induced lung injury (VILI), particularly in the context of pre-existing lung injury. The mechanisms that underlie this interaction are poorly understood. We aimed to elucidate the regional transcriptomic response to mechanical ventilation (MV), with or without pre-existing lung injury, and link this to the regional lung volume response to MV.

Methods: Adult female BALB/c mice were randomly assigned into one of four groups: Saline, MV, lipopolysaccharide (LPS) or LPS/MV. Lung volumes (tidal volume, Vt; end-expiratory volume, EEV) were measured at baseline or after 2 h of ventilation using four-dimensional computed tomography (4DCT). Regional lung tissue samples corresponding to specific imaging regions were analysed for the transcriptome response by RNA-Seq. Bioinformatics analyses were conducted and the regional expression of dysregulated gene clusters was then correlated with the lung volume response.

Results: MV in the absence of pre-existing lung injury was associated with regional variations in tidal stretch. The addition of LPS also caused regional increases in EEV. We identified 345, 141 and 184 region-specific differentially expressed genes in response to MV, LPS and LPS/MV, respectively. Amongst these candidate genes, up-regulation of genes related to immune responses were positively correlated with increased regional tidal stretch in the MV group, while dysregulation of genes associated with endothelial barrier related pathways were associated with increased regional EEV and Vt when MV was combined with LPS. Further protein-protein interaction analysis led to the identification of two protein clusters representing the PI3K/Akt and MEK/ERK signalling hubs which may explain the interaction between MV and LPS exposure.

Conclusion: The biological pathways associated with lung volume inhomogeneity during MV, and MV in the presence of pre-existing inflammation, differed. MV related tidal stretch induced up-regulation of immune response genes, while LPS combined with MV disrupted PI3K/Akt and MEK/ERK signalling.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:lung inhomogeneities, mechanical ventilation, RNA sequencing, sepsis, transcriptome, ventilator-induced lung injury
Research Division:Biomedical and Clinical Sciences
Research Group:Cardiovascular medicine and haematology
Research Field:Respiratory diseases
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Clinical health
Objective Field:Clinical health not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Song, Y (Dr Yong Song)
UTAS Author:Yen, S (Dr Seiha Yen)
UTAS Author:Bennett, E (Dr Ellen Bennett)
UTAS Author:Dargaville, PA (Professor Peter Dargaville)
UTAS Author:Zosky, GR (Professor Graeme Zosky)
ID Code:149951
Year Published:2022
Deposited By:Menzies Institute for Medical Research
Deposited On:2022-05-03
Last Modified:2022-09-19
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