Neonatal Respiratory Diseases in the Newborn Infant: Novel Insights from Stable Isotope Tracer Studies

Virgilio P. Carnielli, Chiara Giorgetti, Manuela Simonato, Luca Vedovelli, Paola Cogo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Respiratory distress syndrome is a common problem in preterm infants and the etiology is multifactorial. Lung underdevelopment, lung hypoplasia, abnormal lung water metabolism, inflammation, and pulmonary surfactant deficiency or disfunction play a variable role in the pathogenesis of respiratory distress syndrome. High-quality exogenous surfactant replacement studies and studies on surfactant metabolism are available; however, the contribution of surfactant deficiency, alteration or dysfunction in selected neonatal lung conditions is not fully understood. In this article, we describe a series of studies made by applying stable isotope tracers to the study of surfactant metabolism and lung water. In a first set of studies, which we call 'endogenous studies', using stable isotope-labelled intravenous surfactant precursors, we showed the feasibility of measuring surfactant synthesis and kinetics in infants using several metabolic precursors including plasma glucose, plasma fatty acids and body water. In a second set of studies, named 'exogenous studies', using stable isotope-labelled phosphatidylcholine tracer given endotracheally, we could estimate surfactant disaturated phosphatidylcholine pool size and half-life. Very recent studies are focusing on lung water and on the endogenous biosynthesis of the surfactant-specific proteins. Information obtained from these studies in infants will help to better tailor exogenous surfactant treatment in neonatal lung diseases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)325-333
Number of pages9
JournalNeonatology
Volume109
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1 2016

Keywords

  • Congenital diaphragmatic hernia
  • Disaturated phosphatidylcholine
  • Lung water
  • Meconium aspiration syndrome
  • Newborn infant
  • Phosphatidylcholine
  • Respiratory distress syndrome
  • Stable isotopes
  • Surfactant kinetics
  • Surfactant metabolism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental Biology
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health

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  • Cite this

    Carnielli, V. P., Giorgetti, C., Simonato, M., Vedovelli, L., & Cogo, P. (2016). Neonatal Respiratory Diseases in the Newborn Infant: Novel Insights from Stable Isotope Tracer Studies. Neonatology, 109(4), 325-333. https://doi.org/10.1159/000444891