The Effects of Heparan Sulfate Infusion on Endothelial and Organ Injury in a Rat Pneumosepsis Model

Daan P. van den Brink*, Derek J.B. Kleinveld, Annabel Bongers, Jaël Vos, Joris T.H. Roelofs, Nina C. Weber, Jaap D. van Buul, Nicole P. Juffermans

*Corresponding author for this work

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Abstract

Septic shock is characterized by endothelial dysfunction, leading to tissue edema and organ failure. Heparan sulfate (HS) is essential for vascular barrier integrity, possibly via albumin as a carrier. We hypothesized that supplementing fluid resuscitation with HS would improve endothelial barrier function, thereby reducing organ edema and injury in a rat pneumosepsis model. Following intratracheal inoculation with Streptococcus pneumoniae, Sprague Dawley rats were randomized to resuscitation with a fixed volume of either Ringer’s Lactate (RL, standard of care), RL supplemented with 7 mg/kg HS, 5% human albumin, or 5% human albumin supplemented with 7 mg/kg HS (n = 11 per group). Controls were sham inoculated animals. Five hours after the start of resuscitation, animals were sacrificed. To assess endothelial permeability, 70 kD FITC-labelled dextran was administered before sacrifice. Blood samples were taken to assess markers of endothelial and organ injury. Organs were harvested to quantify pulmonary FITC-dextran leakage, organ edema, and for histology. Inoculation resulted in sepsis, with increased lactate levels, pulmonary FITC-dextran leakage, pulmonary edema, and pulmonary histologic injury scores compared to healthy controls. RL supplemented with HS did not reduce median pulmonary FITC-dextran leakage compared to RL alone (95.1 CI [62.0–105.3] vs. 87.1 CI [68.9–139.3] µg/mL, p = 0.76). Similarly, albumin supplemented with HS did not reduce pulmonary FITC-dextran leakage compared to albumin (120.0 [93.8–141.2] vs. 116.2 [61.7 vs. 160.8] µg/mL, p = 0.86). No differences were found in organ injury between groups. Heparan sulfate, as an add-on therapy to RL or albumin resuscitation, did not reduce organ or endothelial injury in a rat pneumosepsis model. Higher doses of heparan sulfate may decrease organ and endothelial injury induced by shock.

Original languageEnglish
Article number6438
JournalJournal of Clinical Medicine
Volume12
Issue number20
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 10 Oct 2023

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