PMID: 217362Nov 15, 1978Paper

Studies on the fate of pulmonary surfactant in the lung

The Biochemical Journal
R DesaiR J Richards


1. Radioactively labelled pulmonary surfactant was prepared in an isolated perfused lung system provided with [14C]hexadecanoate. 2. After intratracheal administration of pulmonary surfactant radioactively labelled components were rapidly distributed into different lung fractions, including macrophages (free cells), but most of the radioactive label was accumulated by the lung tissue. 3. Alveolar macrophages, maintained in a variety of culture media in the presence and absence of mineral particles, incorporated a low percentage (11%) of radioactively labelled components when incubated with the surfactant, although evolution of labelled CO2 (6% of the original total activity) suggested that some breakdown of the components had taken place. 4. In similar cultures little intracellular accumulation or extracellular release of non-esterified fatty acids was demonstrated, indicating minimal catabolism of the high-molecular-weight lipid components of surfactant (particularly phosphatidylcholine). 5. However, experiments in vitro designed to simulate the lysosomal degradation of endocytosed surfactant indicated that the macrophage had enzymes capable of releasing non-esterified fatty acids, particularly hexadecanoate, from the lipoprot...Continue Reading


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