CIBA Foundation Symposium on Pulmonary Structure and Function

By A. V. S. De Reuck; Maeve O'Connor | Go to book overview
Exchange transfusion of such blood into a healthy animal has caused atelectasis and death.
Chemical nature of the material
Fractionation of washed lung extracts initially showed the surface-active material to be in the lipoprotein fraction; further studies have shown that the activity persists even when the protein is removed and only phospholipid remains. Three pure phospholipids -- lysolecithin, sphingomyelin from red blood cells, and synthetic dipalmitoyl lecithin -- have been tried on the Wilhelmy balance. All produce area-tension curves somewhat similar to those of active lung extracts ( Klaus, Clements and Havel, 1961).
Summary and conclusions
Recent studies show that a variety of procedures cause congestive atelectasis and in each case extracts of these lungs lower surface tension to a Minimum of only 20 dyn/cm. instead of the normal value of 2-10 dyn/cm. The surface-active material in normal lung appears to be a phospholipid, possibly formed by alveolar cells. Under certain conditions (such as pulmonary arterial occlusion or perfusion of chemically altered blood) either this substance is not formed in adequate quantities, or it is displaced or inactivated. We believe that precise identification of this surface-active material and further knowledge of its physiological regulation may lead to better understanding of the pathogenesis, prevention and treatment of certain pulmonary disorders.
REFERENCES
CARLENS E., HANSON H. E., and NORDENSTROM B. ( 1951). J. thorac. Surg., 22,527.
CHASE W. H. ( 1959). Exp. Cell Res., 18,15.
CLEMENTS J. A. ( 1962). Physiologist, to be published.
CLEMENTS J. A., BROWN E. S., and JOHNSON R. P. ( 1958). J. appl. Physiol., 12,262.

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