Oxidative stress and inflammation contribute to lung toxicity after a common breast cancer chemotherapy regimen

Amir M. Abushamaa, Thomas A. Sporn, Rodney J. Folz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Delayed pulmonary toxicity syndrome after high-dose chemotherapy (HDC) and autologous hematopoietic support occurs in up to 64% of women with advanced-stage breast cancer. Using a similar, but nonmyeloablative, HDC treatment regimen in mice, we found both immediate and persistent lung injury, coincident with marked decreases in lung tissue glutathione reductase activity and accompanied by increases in lung oxidized glutathione, bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) lipid peroxidation, and BAL total cell counts. Most interestingly, at 6 wk, BAL total cell counts had increased fourfold, with lymphocyte cell counts increasing >11-fold. A single supplemental dose of glutathione prevented early lung injury at 48 h but showed no lung-protective effects at 6 wk, whereas single doses of other thiol-sparing agents (Ethyol and glutathione monoethyl ester) showed no benefit. These data suggest that this HDC regimen results in acute and persistent lung toxicity, induced in part by oxidative stress, that culminates with an acute lung cellular inflammatory response. Continuous glutathione supplementation and/or attenuation of the delayed pulmonary inflammatory response may prove beneficial in preventing lung toxicity after the use of these chemotherapeutic agents.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)L336-L345
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Lung Cellular and Molecular Physiology
Issue number2 27-2
StatePublished - 2002


  • Delayed pulmonary toxicity syndrome
  • Glutathione
  • High-dose chemotherapy
  • Lung injury

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)
  • Cell Biology


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