Distribution of intracellular and secreted surfactant during postnatal rat lung development

Schmiedl, Andreas; Vieten, Gertrud; Mühlfeld, Christian; Bernhard, Wolfgang (2007). Distribution of intracellular and secreted surfactant during postnatal rat lung development. Pediatric pulmonology, 42(6), pp. 548-62. Hoboken, N.J.: Wiley-Blackwell 10.1002/pput.20623

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Pulmonary surfactant prevents alveolar collapse via reduction of surface tension. In contrast to human neonates, rats are born with saccular lungs. Therefore, rat lungs serve as a model for investigation of the surfactant system during postnatal alveolar formation. We hypothesized that this process is associated with characteristic structural and biochemical surfactant alterations. We aimed to discriminate changes related to alveolarization from those being either invariable or follow continuous patterns of postnatal changes. Secreted active (mainly tubular myelin (tm)) and inactive (unilamellar vesicles (ulv)) surfactant subtypes as well as intracellular surfactant (lamellar bodies (lb)) in type II pneumocytes (PNII) were quantified before (day (d) 1), during (d 7), at the end of alveolarization (d 14), and after completion of lung maturation (d 42) using electron microscopic methods supplemented by biochemical analyses (phospholipid quantification, immunoblotting for SP-A). Immunoelectron microscopy determined the localization of surfactant protein A (SP-A). (1) At d 1 secreted surfactant was increased relative to d 7-42 and then decreased significantly. (2) Air spaces of neonatal lungs comprised lower fractions of tm and increased ulv, which correlated with low SP-A concentrations in lung lavage fluid (LLF) and increased respiratory rates, respectively. (3) Alveolarization (d 7-14) was associated with decreasing PNII size although volume and sizes of Lb continuously increased. (4) The volume fractions of Lb correlated well with the pool sizes of phospholipids in lavaged lungs. Our study emphasizes differential patterns of developmental changes of the surfactant system relative to postnatal alveolarization.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Pre-clinic Human Medicine > Institute of Anatomy > Topographical and Clinical Anatomy

UniBE Contributor:

Mühlfeld, Christian










Factscience Import

Date Deposited:

04 Oct 2013 14:55

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 14:17

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https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/23539 (FactScience: 42251)

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