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

Studies on lung surfactant replacement in respiratory distress syndrome. Rapid film formation from binary mixed liposomes.

Binary mixed liposomes were prepared from dipalmitoylphosphatidylcholine (DPPC) and a minor compound, e.g., egg phosphatidylglycerol (PG) at a ratio of 9:1. Using different preparative techniques, large unilamellar vesicles (LUV), small unilamellar vesicles (SUV) or multilamellar vesicles (MLV) were obtained and were studied with an electron microscope for morphology, with a Wilhelmy balance for spreading and surface tension lowering potential, and in the surfactant-depleted isolated rat lung for their ability to restore expiratory lung capacity. Only the simultaneous investigation of phospholipids by negative staining and thin sectioning allows unequivocal classification of liposomes. The surface-active structures prepared with the technique of Bangham et al. (Bangham, A.D., Hill, M.W. and Miller, N.G.A. (1974) in Methods in Membrane Biology (Korn, E., ed.), Vol. 1, pp. 1-68, Plenum Press, New York) at room temperature are LUV. LUV containing DPPC:PG at a ratio of 9:1 rapidly spread to a film with high surface tension lowering potential. Within 5 min after injection into the subphase they rise to the surface and form a film at the air/liquid interface able to lower the surface tension to less than 1 mN/m at compression. SUV of the same chemical composition, however, are immediately surface-active only when spread directly onto the surface. MLV exhibit poor surface activity. LUV or pure DPPC, applied onto the surface, are weakly surface active within 5 min. DPPC vesicles injected into the subphase at 37 degrees C do not adsorb to any film with surface tension lowering potential in this time. The minor compounds PE, PI, PS, PA, lysoPC enable DPPC to form surface-active films after application on saline at 37 degrees C. Removal of surfactant decreases the expiratory lung capacity of the isolated rat lung from 49.7 to 12.4% at 4 cmH2O. After substitution with natural surfactant, the expiratory lung capacity is twice that of the washed lung (25.9%), but the original distensibility of the native lung is not restituted. The effect of LUV containing DPPC:PG at a ratio of 9:1 is also remarkable (21.2%).[1]


  1. Studies on lung surfactant replacement in respiratory distress syndrome. Rapid film formation from binary mixed liposomes. Obladen, M., Popp, D., Schöll, C., Schwarz, H., Jähnig, F. Biochim. Biophys. Acta (1983) [Pubmed]
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