Lung tissue obtained from fetal rabbits of 23 days gestational age was maintained in organ culture to study the in vitro formation of lamellar body phospholipids. During the culture period, the epithelium of the prealveolar ducts of the explants differentiated to form type II pneumonocytes. After 8 days in culture, the explants were harvested, homogenized, and two lamellar body fractions were isolated by sucrose density gradient centrifugation. The lamellar body fraction which best retained the distinct multilamellar structure was recovered at the interface between a solution of buffer without sucrose and buffer containing 0.41 m sucrose. The phospholipid compositions of both lamellar body fractions were similar to those reported for lamellar bodies and surfactant isolated from fetal rabbit lung, with the exception of a slightly higher phosphatidylethanolamine content. The disaturated phosphatidylcholine content of the lamellar body fractions, expressed as a percentage of total lipid phosphorus, was not influenced by the presence of palmitate in the medium.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology