Surfactant metabolism in surfactant-treated preterm ventilated lambs

M. Ikegami, A. Jobe, T. Yamada, A. Priestly, L. Ruffini, E. Rider, S. Seidner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Scopus citations


Preterm lambs were delivered at 132 days gestational age, treated with 100 mg/kg radiolabeled natural sheep surfactant or Surfactant TA, and ventilated for times up to 24 h. Compared with an untreated group that developed respiratory failure by 5 h, both surfactant-treated groups had stable respiratory function to 24 h. Although only ~13% of the labeled surfactant phosphatidylcholine was recovered by alveolar wash at 24 h, there was no significant loss of the labeled phosphatidylcholine from the lungs. Labeled palmitic acid intravascularly injected at 1 h of age comparably labeled lung phosphatidylcholine in the three groups of lambs at 5 h; however, only ~0.5% of the labeled phosphatidylcholine was secreted to the air spaces of surfactant-treated lambs at 24 h. Labeled lysophosphatidylcholine given with the natural sheep surfactant was taken up by the lungs, converted to phosphatidylcholine with 30-40% efficiency, and resecreted to the air spaces, demonstrating recycling of a phospholipid. The large surfactant aggregates recovered from alveolar washes by centrifugation were surface active and contained ~76% of the air-space phosphatidylcholine in both surfactant-treated groups. Although clinical status was comparable, alveolar washes and surfactant subfractions from Surfactant TA-treated lambs had better surface properties than did sheep surfactant-treated lambs. These studies identified no detrimental effects of surfactant treatments on endogenous surfactant metabolism and indicated that the surfactants used for treatments were recycled by the preterm ventilated lamb lung.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)429-437
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of applied physiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1989
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


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