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Hormonal and developmental regulation of pulmonary surfactant synthesis in fetal lung. Baillière's Clin

Baillière s Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism 07/1990; 4(2):351-78. DOI: 10.1016/S0950-351X(05)80055-2
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT

Pulmonary surfactant, a unique developmentally regulated, phospholipid-rich lipoprotein, is synthesized by the type II cells of the pulmonary alveolus, where it is stored in organelles termed lamellar bodies. The principal surface-active component of surfactant, dipalmitoylphosphatidylcholine, a disaturated form of phosphatidylcholine, acts in concert with the surfactant-associated proteins to reduce alveolar surface tension. Relatively large amounts of phosphatidylglycerol also are present in lung surfactants of a number of species, including man. The role of phosphatidylglycerol in surfactant function has not been elucidated; however, its presence in increased amounts in pulmonary surfactant is correlated with enhanced fetal lung maturity. Surfactant glycerophospholipid synthesis in fetal lung tissue is regulated by a number of hormones and factors, including glucocorticoids, prolactin, insulin, oestrogens, androgens, thyroid hormones, and catecholamines acting through cyclic AMP. In studies with human fetal lung in organ culture, we have observed that glucocorticoids, in combination with prolactin and/or insulin, increase the rate of lamellar body phosphatidylcholine synthesis and alter lamellar body glycerophospholipid composition to one reflective of surfactant secreted by the human fetal lung at term.

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