Premature rabbits delivered by cesarean section at 28 d of gestation were each given intratracheal 75 mg/kg of a radiolabeled preparation of either natural rabbit surfactant, natural calf surfactant, or surfactant-TA. Each newborn rabbit was ventilated for up to 6 h in a ventilator-plethysmograph with individual adjustments of peak inspiratory pressures to attain tidal vol of 12-15 mL/kg body wt. Dynamic compliances were about 0.7-0.9 mL/cm H20 • kg after treatment with the three surfactants and did not deteriorate during the 6-h study. Rabbits were randomly studied at 0.5, 1.5, 3, 4.5, and 6 h of age for the recovery of the labeled surfactant phosphatidylcholine in the total lungs (alveolar wash plus postlavage lung tissue). The labeled phosphatidylcholine was cleared from the total lungs of rabbits treated with natural rabbit or calf surfactants at comparable rates of about 25%/6 h. In contrast, the clearance rate of surfactant-TA phosphatidylcholine from the total lungs was not significantly different from 0. Lipids from rabbit surfactant that had been administered intratracheally were only minimally present in the blood and liver. In other similarly treated rabbits, the lipids from radiolabeled rabbit surfactant and liposomes of dipalmi-toylphosphatidylcholine that had been injected intravenously were recovered in blood and liver in substantial quantities. These studies documented significant losses of rabbit and calf surfactant phosphatidylcholine but not surfactant-TA phosphatidylcholine from the lungs of preterm ventilated rabbits. The losses were not explained by surfactant losses to the vascular compartment.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health