Departmental Papers (BE)

Document Type

Journal Article

Date of this Version


Publication Source






Start Page





Ventilation of septic patients often leads to the development of edema and impaired gas exchange. We hypothesized that septic alveolar epithelial monolayers would experience stretch-induced barrier dysfunction at a lower magnitude of stretch than healthy alveolar epithelial monolayers. Alveolar epithelial cells were isolated from rats 24 hours after cecal ligation and double puncture (2CLP) or sham surgery. Following a 5-day culture period, monolayers were cyclically stretched for 0, 10, or 60 minutes to a magnitude of 12% or 25% change in surface area (ΔSA). Barrier function, MAPk and myosin light chain (MLC) phosphorylation, tight junction (TJ) protein expression and actin cytoskeletal organization were examined after stretch. Significant increases in epithelial permeability were observed only in 2CLP monolayers at the 12% ΔSA stretch level, and in both 2CLP and sham monolayers at the 25% ΔSA stretch level. Increased permeability in 2CLP monolayers was not associated with MAPk signaling or alterations in expression of TJ proteins. 2CLP monolayers had fewer actin stress fibers before stretch, a more robust stretch-induced actin redistribution, and reduced phosphorylated MLCK than sham monolayers. Jasplakinolide stabilization of the actin cytoskeleton in 2CLP monolayers prevented significant increases in permeability following 60 minutes of stretch to 12% ΔSA. We concluded that septic alveolar epithelial monolayers are more susceptible to stretch-induced barrier dysfunction than healthy monolayers due to actin reorganization.

Copyright/Permission Statement

© 2012 Cohen et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.



Date Posted: 25 May 2016

This document has been peer reviewed.