Lubricating effect of sialomucin and hyaluronan on pleural mesothelium

Francesca Bodega, Matteo Pecchiari, Chiara Sironi, Cristina Porta, Francesca Arnaboldi, Isabella Barajon, Emilio Agostoni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Coefficient of kinetic friction (μ) between rabbit visceral and parietal pleura, sliding in vitro at physiological velocities and load, increases markedly after blotting mesothelial surface with filter paper; this increase is only partially reduced by wetting blotted mesothelium with Ringer solution. Given that mesothelial surface is covered by a thick coat with sialomucin and hyaluronan, we tested whether addition of sialomucin or hyaluronan solution after blotting lowers μ more than Ringer alone. Actually, these macromolecules lowered μ more than Ringer, so that μ was no longer significantly higher than its preblotting value. Moreover, Ringer addition, after washout of macromolecule solution, increased μ, in line with their dilution. These findings indicate that mesothelial blotting removes part of these molecules from the coat covering mesothelial surface, and their relevance for pleural lubrication. Transmission electron micrographs of pleural specimens after mesothelial blotting showed that microvilli were partially or largely removed from mesothelium, consistent with a substantial loss of macromolecules normally entrapped among them.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)34-39
Number of pages6
JournalRespiratory Physiology and Neurobiology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 15 2012


  • Friction coefficient
  • Hyaluronan
  • Microvilli
  • Phospholipids
  • Pleural lubrication
  • Sialomucin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Neuroscience(all)


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