Effect of Pseudomonas infection on weight loss, lung mechanics, and cytokines in mice

Anna M. Van Heeckeren, Jamsak Tscheikuna, Ronald W. Walenga, Michael W. Konstan, Pamela B. Davis, Bernie Erokwu, Musa A. Haxhiu, Thomas W. Ferkol

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

93 Scopus citations


Poor growth, Pseudomonas aeruginosa endobronchitis, pulmonary inflammation, and decline of lung function are hallmarks of cystic fibrosis (CF), yet the relationship between these features is poorly understood. Because animal models of chronic bronchopulmonary infection with P. aeruginosa used to study pulmonary inflammation in CF have also been associated with weight loss, we sought to determine whether this weight loss was due to the inflammatory process and/or to changes in lung function. P. aeruginosa-laden agarose beads were instilled into the lungs of mice. Weight loss was greatest 3 d after Pseudomonas infection. Infected mice had a rapid though transient rise in absolute neutrophil counts, mTNF-α, mIL-1β, mIL-6, mip-2, and KC in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid. There was no difference in lung resistance or lung compliance measured by body plethysmography between infected and control mice. Weight loss did correlate with the concentration of proinflammatory cytokine levels 3 d after inoculation of mice with Pseudomonas, and body composition analysis revealed loss of skeletal muscle mass. These results suggest that weight loss in P. aeruginosa-infected mice was associated with the inflammatory process and not with altered pulmonary responsiveness. These findings may provide insights into the cause of cachexia and weight loss seen in patients with CF.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)271-279
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican journal of respiratory and critical care medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2000


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