Rottlerin causes pulmonary edema in vivo: A possible role for PKCδ

James R. Klinger, Josh D. Murray, Brian Casserly, Diego F. Alvarez, Judy A. King, Steven S. An, Gaurav Choudhary, Akua N. Owusu-Sarfo, Rod Warburton, Elizabeth O. Harrington

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


In the present study, we assessed the effects of chemical inhibitors shown to be selective for protein kinase C (PKC) isoforms on lung barrier function both in vitro and in vivo. Rottlerin, a purported inhibitor of PKCδ, but not other chemical inhibitors, dose dependently promoted barrier dysfunction in lung endothelial cells in vitro. This barrier dysfunction correlated with structural changes in focal adhesions and stress fibers, which were consistent with functional changes in cell stiffness. To determine whether the effects noted in vitro correlated with changes in intact lungs, we tested the effects of rottlerin in the formation of pulmonary edema in rats using both ex vivo and in vivo models. Isolated, perfused lungs demonstrated a significant increase in filtration coefficients on exposure to rottlerin, compared with vehicle-treated lungs, an effect that correlated with increased extravasation of Evan's blue dye (EBD)-conjugated albumin. Additionally, compared with vehicle, the ratio of the wet lung weights to dry lung weights was significantly greater on exposure of animals to rottlerin; rottlerin also produced a dose-dependent increase in EBD extravasation into the lungs. These effects on lung edema occurred without any increase in right ventricular pressures. Microscopic assessment of edema in the ex vivo lungs demonstrated perivascular cuffing, with no evidence of septal capillary leak, in rottlerin-exposed lungs. Taken together, rottlerin increases barrier dysfunction in pulmonary endothelial cell monolayers and causes pulmonary edema in rats; results suggestive of an important role for PKCδ in maintaining lung endothelial barrier function.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2084-2094
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of applied physiology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2007


  • Endothelium
  • Lung
  • Permeability
  • Protein kinase C

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


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