Research ArticleLUNG VENTILATION

Preventing loss of mechanosensation by the nuclear membranes of alveolar cells reduces lung injury in mice during mechanical ventilation

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Science Translational Medicine  29 Aug 2018:
Vol. 10, Issue 456, eaam7598
DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aam7598

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Softening the effects of lung ventilation

Mechanical ventilation is a life support treatment that helps patients to breathe; however, the mechanical stress caused by artificial pressure can cause lung injury. The molecular mechanisms responsible for this adverse event are not completely understood. Now, López-Alonso et al. show that Lamin-A overexpression induced by mechanical ventilation increased nuclear membrane stiffness (that is, reduced compliance) in lung alveolar cells and contributed to lung injury in mice. Inhibition of nuclear Lamin-A production using two protease inhibitors approved for treating human immunodeficiency virus infection preserved alveolar nuclear membrane compliance and reduced lung injury induced by mechanical ventilation. The results suggest that protease inhibitors might be useful for reducing the side effects associated with mechanical ventilation.