Surfactant protein A and saturated phosphatidylcholine in respiratory distress syndrome

Fernando R. Moya, Hector F. Montes, Vickey L. Thomas, Ana M. Mouzinho, Jo F. Smith, Charles R. Rosenfeld

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


We measured surfactant protein A (SP-A) by ELISA using a rabbit antihuman SP-A polyclonal antibody and saturated phosphatidylcholine (SPC) by thin- layer chromatography in sequential tracheal fluid samples obtained from 16 preterm neonates without lung disease and 37 with respiratory distress syndrome (RDS). SP-A and SPC were lower in neonates with RDS than in control infants (1.0 ± 0.1 versus 8.9 ± 2.2 ng SP-A/μg protein [p < 0.0001] and 0.20 ± 0.05 versus 0.70 ± 0.19 μmol SPC/mg protein [p < 0.01], respectively). Initial SP-A concentrations correlated inversely with severity of RDS (r = 0.45, p < 0.01) but did not correlate with initial SPC levels. Significant increases in SP-A were detectable within 12 to 24 h after birth in neonates with RDS. Further increases occurred subsequently and were similar for neonates treated with either a synthetic (Exosurf) or a modified natural (Survanta) surfactant. Using two-dimensional gel electrophoresis, SP- A in tracheal fluid obtained during the early and recovery phases of RDS exhibited lesser degrees of posttranslational modification than SP-A forms from control neonates. Administration of Exosurf or Survanta resulted in comparable increases in SPC in tracheal fluid. Preterm neonates with RDS seem to have an immature SP-A metabolism than persists for several days after birth. The type of surfactant used does not modify the recovery of SP-A or SPC in tracheal fluid from infants with RDS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1672-1677
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican journal of respiratory and critical care medicine
Issue number6 I
StatePublished - Dec 1994

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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