Surfactant disaturated phosphatidylcholine kinetics in infants with bronchopulmonary dysplasia measured with stable isotopes and a two-compartment model

Paola E. Cogo, Gianna Maria Toffolo, Antonina Gucciardi, Arianna Benetazzo, Claudio Cobelli, Virgilio P. Carnielli

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We previously found a shorter surfactant disaturated phosphatidylcholine palmitate (DSPC-PA) half-life in infants with bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) by using a single stable isotope tracer and simple formulas based on a one-exponential fit of the final portion of the enrichment decay curve. The aim of this study was to apply noncompartmental and compartmental analysis on the entire enrichment decay curve of DSPC-PA and to compare the kinetic data with our previous results. We analyzed 10 preterm newborns with BPD (gestational age 26 ± 0.6 wk, weight 777 ± 199 g) and 6 controls (gestational age 26 ± 1.4 wk, weight 787 ± 259 g). All took part in our previous study. Endotracheal 13C-labeled dipalmitoyl phosphatidylcholine was administered, and the 13C-enrichment of surfactant DSPC-PA was measured from serial tracheal aspirates by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. Noncompartmental and compartmental models were numerically identified from the tracer-to-tracee ratio and kinetic parameters related to the accessible (pool accessible to sampling, likely to be the lung alveolar pool) and to the nonaccessible pools (pools not accessible to samplings, likely to be the intracellular storage pool) were estimated in the two study groups. Comparison was performed by Mann-Whitney test. A two-compartment model provided the most reliable assessment of DSPC-PA kinetics. In BPD vs. controls, mean ± SE residence time of DSPC-PA in the accessible was 17.5 ± 2.6 vs. 32.2 ± 6.4 h (P <0.05), whereas it was 49.7 ± 3.5 vs. 54.4 ± 3.9 h (NS, not significant) in the nonaccessible pool; DSPC-PA recycling was 0.26 ± 0.05 vs. 0.43 ± 0.04% (NS), respectively. A two-compartment model of surfactant DSPC-PA kinetics allowed a thorough assessment of DSPC-PA kinetics, including masses, synthesis, and fluxes between pools. The most important findings of this study are that in BPD infants DSPC-PA loss from the alveolar pool was higher and recycling through the intracellular pool lower than in controls.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)323-329
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Applied Physiology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2005


  • Phospholipids
  • Pulmonary surfactant
  • Stable isotopes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Endocrinology
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation


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