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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Expression and localization of lung surfactant protein B in Eustachian tube epithelium.

Surfactant protein (SP) B is an essential component of the pulmonary surfactant complex, which participates in reducing the surface tension across the alveolar air-liquid interface. The Eustachian tube (ET) connects the upper respiratory tract to the middle ear, serving as an intermittent airway between the pharynx and the middle ear. Recently, we described the expression of SP-A and SP-D in the ET, suggesting their role in middle ear host defense. Our present aim was to detect whether the expression of SP-B is evident in the porcine ET. With Northern blot analysis, RT-PCR, and in situ hybridizations, SP-B mRNA was identified and localized in the ET epithelium. The cellular localization of SP-B was revealed with immunohistochemistry, electron microscopy, and immunoelectron microscopy. The protein was found in the secretory granules of epithelial cells and also attached to the microvilli at the luminal side of these cells. The SP-B immunoreactivity of aggregates isolated from ET lavage fluid was similar to that isolated from bronchoalveolar lavage fluid. We conclude that there are specialized cells in the ET epithelium expressing and secreting SP-B and propose that SP-B may facilitate normal opening of the tube and mucociliary transport.[1]


  1. Expression and localization of lung surfactant protein B in Eustachian tube epithelium. Paananen, R., Glumoff, V., Sormunen, R., Voorhout, W., Hallman, M. Am. J. Physiol. Lung Cell Mol. Physiol. (2001) [Pubmed]
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