Inflammatory mediators and modulators released in organ culture from rabbit skin lesions produced in vivo by sulfur mustard. II. Evans blue dye experiments that determined the rates of entry and turnover of serum protein in developing and healing lesions

S. Harada, A. M. Dannenberg, A. Kajiki, K. Higuchi, F. Tanaka, P. J. Pula

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Extravasated serum seems to be the major modulator of the local inflammatory response, because it provides both proinflammatory and antiinflammatory components. This report describes the rates of entry and turnover of extravasated serum protein in dermal inflammatory lesions produced by the military vesicular sulfur mustard (SM). Rabbits, bearing SM skin lesions, were given an intravenous injection of Evans blue dye, so that at the time of sacrifice, 2 hours later, their skin lesions were 2 hours and 1, 2, 3, 6, and 10 days of age. Evans blue labels serum albumin, a representative serum protein. By multiplying the amount of Evans blue contained in the lesions by a factor that converted micrograms of Evans blue into milligrams of serum protein, the authors could estimate the 2-hour rate of entry of serum protein into these lesions. Serum protein in the lesions was bound and unbound. The unbound protein was extractable from the lesions into the culture fluids, and, electrophoretically, was similar in composition to serum protein. Grossly edematous peak lesions (1 day of age) contained 7.8 mg of unbound serum protein per square centimeter of skin. Healing lesions (6 and 10 days of age) contained about 4.5 mg/sq cm, and normal skin about 1.7 mg/sq cm. Lesions 1 day of age had the highest rate of serum albumin entry, and about 36% of this Evans-blue-labeled protein was unbound, ie, extractable into the culture fluids. Lesions 3 and 6 days of age had a rate of serum albumin entry that was roughly half that of 1-day lesions, and only about 13% of this entering protein was unbound. Normal skin had a very low rate of serum albumin entry, and only 8% of this entering protein was unbound. The turnover rate could be estimated from the 2-hour entry rate of the Evans-blue-labeled albumin and the total protein in the culture fluids. In 1-day lesions, about 25% of the serum protein in the culture fluids was protein which had entered during the last 2 hours, so that 100% of this unbound protein should have been replaced once in 8 hours. In contrast, in 3- and 6-day lesions, this unbound serum protein should have been replaced once in about 35 hours, and in normal skin once in 80 hours. Evans-blue-labeled serum albumin continuously entered both the bound and unbound compartments of the SM lesions, even during the healing stages. The bound serum albumin was not extractable into the culture fluids because most of it was probably encapsulated by the now nonfunctional lymphatics within the explant and loculated within connective tissue compartments. It is concluded that the amount of serum protein in acute inflammatory lesions is rather high and that it has an unexpectedly rapid turnover rate.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)28-38
Number of pages11
JournalAmerican Journal of Pathology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1 1985


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine

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