Modification of surfactant metabolizing cells in rat lung by clofibrate, a hypolipidemic peroxisome proliferating agent. Evidence to suggest that clofibrate influences pulmonary surfactant metabolism

Virchows Archiv. B, Cell Pathology Including Molecular Pathology
B FringesA Reith


The influence of clofibrate (ethyl-alpha-p-chlorophenoxy-isobutyrate), a hypolipidemic peroxisome proliferating agent, has been tested on the lungs of adult male rats. Drug administration for 7 days caused structural changes in two types of lung cells, both of which are involved in the metabolism of the pulmonary surfactant. By light microscopy the prominent features were the presence of enlarged type II alveolar epithelial cells and foamy intraalveolar macrophages. Compared with controls, type II cells in treated rats apparently contained more numerous surfactant-containing lamellar bodies, as visualized in semi-thin sections of Epon-embedded tissue. This difference was quantified morphometrically by light microscopy: the number of lamellar bodies was estimated as the profile number per individual type II alveolar cell, transsected at its nucleus. Clofibrate administration for 7 days resulted in a significant increase in the number of the lamellar inclusions. In contrast the number of type II alveolar cells per area of lung remained unchanged. There was no evidence of atelectasis or inflammatory infiltration in the drug-treated lungs, a finding confirmed in sections of perfusion-fixed, paraffin-embedded whole lung-lobes. By el...Continue Reading


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