Effects of a membrane-permeable radical scavenger, Tempol, on intraperitoneal sepsis-induced organ injury in rats

Wen Jinn Liaw, Tai Hao Chen, Zheng Zong Lai, Shiu Jen Chen, Ann Chen, Chin Tzao, Jeng Yuan Wu, Chin Chen Wu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Citations (Scopus)


There is good evidence that endotoxemia, sepsis, and septic shock are associated with the generation and release of reactive oxygen species (ROS) such as superoxide anion (O2-.), indicating that oxygen-derived free radicals play an important role in the pathogenesis of sepsis/shock. Studies on the application of free oxygen radical scavengers to limit the damage to tissues and organs have been recently attempted. A stable piperidine nitroxide of low molecular weight (Tempol) can permeate biological membranes and scavenge O2-. in vitro and in vivo. Thus, we investigated effects of Tempol on the circulatory failure and multiple organ injuries caused by a clinically relevant polymicrobial sepsis model in the rat-cecal ligation and puncture (CLP). CLP not only successfully induced circulatory failure but also substantially increased plasma concentrations of glutamate-oxalate-transferase and glutamate-pyruvate-transferase (indicators of liver injury), creatinine and blood urea nitrogen (indicators of kidney injury), and decreased base excess in arterial blood in the late stage, indicating the development of multiple organ injury in this study. These were also confirmed by a histologic examination showing that the CLP-induced sepsis accompanied increase of polymorphonuclear neutrophil (PMN) infiltration in the lung and sequestration in the liver. Our results demonstrated that Tempol not only ameliorated the deterioration of hemodynamic changes and renal and liver injuries but also attenuated PMN infiltration in the lung and sequestration in the liver (histology). In addition, Tempol improved the survival in CLP-induced septic rats. Moreover, Tempol reduced the plasma NO· and interleukin-1β and organ O2-. levels in CLP-treated rats. In conclusion, Tempol prevented circulatory failure and attenuated organ dysfunction/injury as well as decreased the mortality rate in CLP-treated animals. These beneficial effects of Tempol may be attributed to inhibition of ROS formation (e.g., NO· and O2-.), suggesting antioxidant (e.g., Tempol) is a potential therapeutic agent in the treatment of intraperitoneal septic shock.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)88-96
Number of pages9
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Cecal ligation and puncture
  • Circulatory failure
  • Nitric oxide
  • Organ dysfunction
  • Reactive oxygen species

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency Medicine
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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