Surfactant treatment effects on lung structure and type II cells of preterm ventilated lambs

Kent E Pinkerton, Machiko Ikegami, Lisa M. Dillard, Alan H. Jobe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


We evaluated surfactant treatment effects on lung morphology and alveolar type II cells of preterm ventilated lambs. Lambs were ventilated for 10 h following treatment of the right lung with natural surfactant. Lung parenchyma from the surfactant-treated right and the untreated left lung was compared morphometrically. Mechanical ventilation without surfactant resulted in distention of alveolar ducts accompanied by shallowing and loss of well-defined alveoli without disruption of collagen or elastin fibers. Surfactant treatment almost completely prevented these changes. The percent of normal parenchyma was 82 ± 7% in surfactant-treated lobes and 26 ± 5% in the nontreated lobes (p < 0.05). Type II cells became flatter in lungs ventilated without surfactant, and cell shape was preserved by surfactant treatment. The volume densities of lamellar bodies and multivesicular bodies in alveolar type II cells were not changed by surfactant treatment. With or without surfactant treatment, mechanical ventilation was associated with a shift in lamellar body distribution to a smaller size and a decrease in glycogen content of type II cells. Surfactant treatment of the preterm lung prevents alveolar distortion and atelectasis, but does not result in changes in subcellular organelles in immature type II cells. Copyright (C) 2000 S. Karger AG, Basel.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)243-252
Number of pages10
JournalBiology of the Neonate
Issue number4
StatePublished - May 2000


  • Alveoli
  • Bronchopulmonary dysplasia
  • Lamellar bodies
  • Lung injury
  • Respiratory distress syndrome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental Biology
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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