Abnormal surfactant metabolism and function in preterm ventilated baboons

Steven R. Seidner, Alan H. Jobe, Jacqueline J. Coalson, Machiko Ikegami

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations


We evaluated surfactant metabolism and function and the effects of antenatal glucocorticoids in very preterm baboons. Pregnant baboons were randomized to receive saline (controls) or 6 mg beta-methasone (beta) 48 and 24 h before delivery at 125 ± 2 d gestation (term is 184 d). The newborn baboons were treated with [14C]dipalmitoylphosphatidylcholine-labeled surfactant and ventilated for 6 d. Lung function for six control and six betamethasone-treated animals was similar. Recoveries of 14C-saturated phosphatidylcholine (Sat PC) were similar: 4.8% (control) and 3.6% (beta) in alveolar wash and 15.4% (control) and 17.7% (beta) in total lungs. Alveolar and total lung pool sizes of Sat PC were about 23 and 190 μmol/kg, respectively. The preterm baboons secreted 8.7% (control) and 6.5% (beta) of de novo synthesized Sat PC labeled with 3H-palmitate from Day 5 to Day 6. These pre-term baboons had high estimated Sat PC synthetic and net tissue accumulation rates but low secretion of sat PC. The large aggregate surfactant fractions from the preterm baboons had high minimal surface tensions and were less effective when used to treat surfactant-deficient preterm rabbits than surfactant from newborn or adult baboons. Ventilation of the preterm baboon was associated with surfactant functional and metabolic abnormalities that were not altered by antenatal glucocorticoids.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1982-1989
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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