Rat model of smoke inhalation-induced acute lung injury

Premila Devi Leiphrakpam, Hannah R. Weber, Tobi Ogun, Keely L. Buesing

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Background Acute lung injury (ALI)/acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) is a lethal disease with limited therapeutic options and an unacceptably high mortality rate. Understanding the complex pathophysiological processes involved in the development of ALI/ARDS is critical for developing novel therapeutic strategies. Smoke inhalation (SI) injury is the leading cause of morbidity and mortality in patients with burn-associated ALI/ARDS; however, to our knowledge few reliable, reproducible models are available for pure SI animal model to investigate therapeutic options for ALI/ARDS without the confounding variables introduced by cutaneous burn or other pathology. Objective To develop a small animal model of pure SI-induced ALI and to use this model for eventual testing of novel therapeutics for ALI. Methods Rats were exposed to smoke using a custom-made smoke generator. Peripheral oxygen saturation (SpO 2), heart rate, arterial blood gas, and chest X-ray (CXR) were measured before and after SI. Wet/dry weight (W/D) ratio, lung injury score and immunohistochemical staining of cleaved caspase 3 were performed on harvested lung tissues of healthy and SI animals. Results The current study demonstrates the induction of ALI in rats after SI as reflected by a significant, sustained decrease in SpO 2 and the development of diffuse bilateral pulmonary infiltrates on CXR. Lung tissue of animals exposed to SI showed increased inflammation, oedema and apoptosis as reflected by the increase in W/D ratio, injury score and cleaved caspase 3 level of the harvested tissues compared with healthy animals. Conclusion We have successfully developed a small animal model of pure SI-induced ALI. This model is offered to the scientific community as a reliable model of isolated pulmonary SI-induced injury without the confounding variables of cutaneous injury or other systemic pathology to be used for study of novel therapeutics or other investigation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere000879
JournalBMJ Open Respiratory Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 23 2021


  • ARDS
  • airway epithelium
  • histology/cytology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'Rat model of smoke inhalation-induced acute lung injury'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this