Pulmonary surfactant synthesis after unilateral lung injury in mice

Giulia Lamonica, Maria Amigoni, Luca Vedovelli, Vanessa Zambelli, Margherita Scanziani, Giacomo Bellani, Alice Grassi, Manuela Simonato, Virgilio P. Carnielli, Paola E. Cogo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Aspiration pneumonitis can lead to alveolar surfactant dysfunction. We employed a murine model of unilateral aspiration to compare surfactant synthesis in the injured (I) and noninjured (NI) contralateral lung. Mice were instilled with hydrochloric acid in the right bronchus and, after 18 h, an intraperitoneal dose of deuterated water was administered as precursor of disaturated phosphatidylcholine (DSPC)-palmitate. Selected bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) was collected at scheduled time points and lungs were removed. We measured DSPC-palmitate synthesis in lung tissue and secretion in BALF by gas chromatographyisotope ratio mass spectrometry, together with total proteins and myeloperoxidase activity (MPO) by spectrophotometry. BALF total proteins and MPO were significantly increased in the I lungs compared with NI and naïve control lungs. The DSPC pool size was significantly lower in the BALF of the I lungs compared with naïve controls. DSPC synthesis was accelerated in the I and NI lungs. DSPC secretion of the I lungs was similar to their respective naïve controls, and it was markedly lower compared with their respective NI contralateral lungs. DSPC synthesis and secretion were faster, especially in the NI lungs, compared with naïve control lungs, as a possible compensatory mechanism due to a cross-talk between the lungs triggered by inflammation, hyperventilation, and/or undetermined type II cell reaction to the injury.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)210-215
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Applied Physiology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jan 15 2014


  • Acute lung injury
  • Anaesthesia
  • Disaturated phosphatidylcholine
  • Surfactant

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


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