Relationship between changes in alveolar surfactant levels and lung defence mechanisms

E. Pozzi, M. Luiselli, L. Spialtini, P. Coccia, A. Rossi, M. Donnini, G. Cetta, M. Saimona

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Pulmonary surfactant, besides its mechanical properties, is thought to be involved in lung defence mechanisms. We previously described that, (1) in healthy animals, surfactant synthesis stimulation with ambroxol was accompanied by alveolar macrophage activation and a shift of the alveolar elastase/antielastase balance towards increased antielastase activity, and (2) in bleomycin-treated rats alveolar phospholipi-dosis was obvious 14 days after drug administration, ambroxol protection reduced the phospholipid peak and the morphological apperance of lung fibrosis at the 14th day of the experiment. The present study found that, (1) in healthy rats, the ambroxol-induced increase of alveolar antielastase activity did not appear due to reactivation of aranti-trypsin normally oxidized in the alveolar milieu, (2) in bleomycin-induced pulmonary fibrosis, ambroxol protection reduced total long collagen content at day 28, and (3) in paraquat-induced pulmonary fibrosis, alveolar phospholipids were markedly reduced throughout the 21 days of the experiment. On increasing the dose of paraquat, ambroxol protection significantly reduced the animals’ death rate.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)53-59
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - 1989


  • Ambroxol
  • Bleomycin
  • Collagens
  • Elastase/antielastase balance
  • Fibrosis
  • Glutathione
  • Lung
  • Lung
  • Lung defence mechanisms
  • Methionine sulfoxide peptide reductase
  • Paraquat
  • Pulmonary surfactant

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Physiology


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