To test the hypothesis that administration of allopurinol could modify the response to prolonged hyperoxia in premature baboons (140 days gestation) with respiratory distress syndrome, we evaluated physiological, pathological, and lung biochemical parameters in groups of premature baboons treated with mechanical ventilation and exposed to various amounts of oxygen for 6 days. Three groups of experimental animals were studied, including animals that received oxygen as needed to maintain arterial oxygen between 60 and 80 Torr [inspiratory O2 concentration- (FIO2) PRN], animals that received 100% oxygen continuously but also received allopurinol intravenously at a dose of 10 mg.kg-1.day-1 (FIO2-1.0 + allopurinol), and animals that received 100% oxygen continuously and the vehicle for allopurinol administration (FIO2-1.0). Pathological examinations of the experimental animals showed evidence of lung injury in both 100% oxygen-exposed groups, but the allopurinol-treated animals had findings more compatible with the FIO2-PRN group, with relatively few macrophages or polymorphonuclear lymphocytes being present in lung tissue. Lungs of animals treated with allopurinol were also more distensible and had a trend toward decreased lung water compared with the FIO2-1.0 group. Allopurinol-treated animals were able to induce lung glutathione concentrations and glutathione-related and antioxidant enzyme activities compared with the normoxic control (FIO2-PRN) group. Ventilator pressure requirements were also decreased in the allopurinol-treated animals compared with the FIO2-1.0 controls after 42 h. These data suggest that treatment of hyperoxia-exposed premature baboons with allopurinol for the first 6 days of life results in significant changes in lung responses and antioxidant defenses compared with vehicle-treated baboons exposed to 100% oxygen for the same time period.
- Copyright © 1991 the American Physiological Society