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  • Author or Editor: Onkar S. Atwal x
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To study effects of central- and peripheral-acting α2-adrenergic receptor agonists on lung parenchyma, platelets, and pulmonary intravascular macrophages (PIM) of sheep.


12 healthy mature female sheep.


Group-1 (control, n = 2) sheep received 5 ml of physiologic saline solution IV and were euthanatized 3 minutes later. Sheep of group 2 (n = 8) received xylazine (150 µg/kg of body weight, IV), then 2 sheep each were euthanatized 3, 10, or 60 minutes, or 12 hours later. Sheep (n = 2) of group 3 were given ST-91 (30 µg/kg, IV), then were euthanatized 3 minutes later. Immediately after euthanasia, the lungs were fixed intratracheally and tissue was obtained for light and electron microscopy after 1 hour.


Pulmonary parenchymal damage or morphologic alterations in PIM and platelets were not evident in control sheep. Three minutes after xylazine administration, morphologic changes in PIM were appreciable. After 10 minutes, extensive damage to the capillary endothelium and alveolar type-I cells, intra-alveolar hemorrhage, and interstitial and alveolar edema were evident. Most PIM had complete internalization of the surface coat. Similar changes were seen 60 minutes after xylazine administration; however, by 12 hours, morphologic features of PIM and lung parenchyma were almost completely restored. Evidence of PIM activation, obvious damage to capillary endothelium, and extensive pulmonary edema also were evident 3 minutes after ST-91 administration.


Xylazine induces severe pulmonary parenchymal damage when administered at clinical sedative doses in sheep; morphologic changes in PIM within 3 minutes after administration of these drugs are substantial; and platelet aggregation is not apparent. (Am J Vet Res 1999;60:154-161)

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research