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Atelectasis is a frequent clinical condition, yet knowledge is limited and controversial on its biological contribution towards lung injury. We assessed the regional proteomics of atelectatic versus normally-aerated lung tissue to test the hypothesis that immune and alveolar-capillary barrier functions are compromised by purely atelectasis and dysregulated by additional systemic inflammation (lipopolysaccharide, LPS). Without LPS, 130 proteins were differentially abundant in atelectasis versus aerated lung, mostly (n = 126) with less abundance together with negatively enriched processes in immune, endothelial and epithelial function, and Hippo signaling pathway. Instead, LPS-exposed atelectasis produced 174 differentially abundant proteins, mostly (n = 108) increased including acute lung injury marker RAGE and chemokine CCL5. Functional analysis indicated enhanced leukocyte processes and negatively enriched cell-matrix adhesion and cell junction assembly with LPS. Additionally, extracellular matrix organization and TGF-β signaling were negatively enriched in atelectasis with decreased adhesive glycoprotein THBS1 regardless of LPS. Concordance of a subset of transcriptomics and proteomics revealed overlap of leukocyte-related gene-protein pairs and processes. Together, proteomics of exclusively atelectasis indicates decreased immune response, which converts into an increased response with LPS. Alveolar-capillary barrier function-related proteomics response is down-regulated in atelectasis irrespective of LPS. Specific proteomics signatures suggest biological mechanistic and therapeutic targets for atelectasis-associated lung injury. © 2022. The Author(s).


Azman Rashid, Congli Zeng, Gabriel Motta-Ribeiro, Simon T Dillon, Towia A Libermann, Marcos Adriano Lessa, Aranya Bagchi, John Hutchinson, Marcos F Vidal Melo. Proteomics of lung tissue reveals differences in inflammation and alveolar-capillary barrier response between atelectasis and aerated regions. Scientific reports. 2022 Apr 29;12(1):7065

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PMID: 35487970

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