In neonatal pneumonia, the surface activity of pulmonary surfactant is impaired and microorganisms may invade by passing the air-liquid interface. Previously, we have shown that addition of the antimicrobial peptide polymyxin B (PxB) to modified porcine surfactant (pSF) improves resistance to surfactant inactivation in vitro while antimicrobial activity of PxB is maintained. In this study, we investigated pSF/PxB in vivo. Neonatal near-term rabbits were treated with intratracheal pSF and/or PxB. Rabbits treated with only saline served as controls. Animals were ventilated with standardized tidal volumes and received ∼107 Escherichia coli intratracheally. Plethysmographic pressure-volume curves were recorded every 30 min. After 240 min, animals were killed, the right lung and left kidney were excised, and bacterial growth was determined. The left lung was used for histologic analysis. Intratracheal administration of PxB ± pSF significantly reduced the growth of E. coli compared with control animals or animals receiving only pSF. This was accompanied by reduction of severe inflammatory tissue destruction and significantly reduced bacterial translocation to the left kidney. Animals receiving pSF ± PxB had no difference in lung compliance compared with the pSF-or PxB-treated group. Mixtures of PxB and pulmonary surfactant show antimicrobial effects in neonatal rabbits and prevent systemic spreading of E. coli.
Research Areas and Centers
- Academic Focus: Center for Brain, Behavior and Metabolism (CBBM)