ObjectiveTo improve the seawater-drowning-induced lung injury model in rats, and investigate the protective effect of resveratrol against seawater-drowning-induced lung injury and its mechanism.MethodsA total of 112 SD healthy rats were randomly assigned into 5 groups: a control group (Group C, n=8), a seawater drowning group (Group S, n=32), a resveratrol prophylactic treatment group (Group S+R, n=32), a resveratrol group (Group R, n=8), and an endotracheal intubation group (Group E, n=32). A modified endotracheal intubation model was developed, and endotracheal intubation was used instead of tracheotomy. Blood gas analysis was performed on the abdominal aorta at each time point, then the rats were sacrificed to obtain their lungs. Lung wet-to-dry ratio (W/D), malondialdehyde (MDA), superoxide dismutase (SOD), myeloperoxidase (MPO) and cysteinyl aspartate specific proteinase (Caspase-3) were measured by enzyme linked immunosorbent assay. The histological sections of rat lungs were stained with haematoxylin-eosin. Groups S+R and R were pretreated with resveratrol (50 mg/kg) through intragastric administration for 3 days; then models were established and the rats were sacrificed 24 hours after the last intragastric administration.ResultsAfter seawater perfusion, arterial oxygen pressure decreased and arterial carbon dioxide pressure increased in blood gas analysis of rats, MDA content increased, MPO and SOD activity decreased, caspase-3 content and W/D ratio increased, as well as lung tissue pathological damage. The resveratrol pretreatment group showed the same change trend, but the damage degree was relatively light.ConclusionsSeawater perfusion can induce respiratory failure, pulmonary edema and hemorrhage in rats. Lung tissue apoptosis may occur when seawater submergence causes lung injury. Resveratrol pretreatment can ameliorate hypoxia and pulmonary edema in rats.