Document Detail

Allometry of the mammalian intracellular pulmonary surfactant system.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  20813974     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Alveolar epithelial (AE) surface area is closely correlated with body mass (BM) in mammals. The AE is covered by a surfactant layer produced by alveolar epithelial type II (AE2) cells. We hypothesized that the total number of AE2 cells and the volume of intracellular surfactant-storing lamellar bodies (Lb) are correlated with BM with a similar slope as AE surface area. We used light and electron microscopic stereology to estimate the number and mean volume of AE2 cells and the total volume of Lb in 12 mammalian species ranging from 2 to 3 g (Etruscan shrew) to 400-500 kg (horse) BM. The mean size of Lb was evaluated using the volume-weighted mean volume and the volume-to-surface ratio of Lb. The mean volume of AE2 cells was 500-600 μm(3) in most species, but was higher in Etruscan shrew, guinea pig, and human lung. The mean volume of Lb per AE2 cell was 80-100 μm(3) in most species, with the same exceptions as above. However, the total number of AE2 cells and the total volume of Lb were closely correlated with BM and exhibited an allometric relationship similar to the slope of AE surface area. The mean size of Lb was similar in all investigated species. In conclusion, the mean volume of AE2 cells and their Lb are independent of BM but show some interspecific variations. The adaptation of the intracellular surfactant pool size to BM is obtained by the variation of the number of AE2 cells in the lung.
André Wirkes; Kristina Jung; Matthias Ochs; Christian Mühlfeld
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Comparative Study; Journal Article     Date:  2010-09-02
Journal Detail:
Title:  Journal of applied physiology (Bethesda, Md. : 1985)     Volume:  109     ISSN:  1522-1601     ISO Abbreviation:  J. Appl. Physiol.     Publication Date:  2010 Dec 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2010-12-14     Completed Date:  2011-03-25     Revised Date:  2013-09-26    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  8502536     Medline TA:  J Appl Physiol (1985)     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  1662-9     Citation Subset:  IM    
Institute of Anatomy and Cell Biology, Justus-Liebig-University Giessen, Aulweg 123, D-35385 Giessen, Germany.
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MeSH Terms
Body Weight*
Cell Count
Cell Size
Cytoplasmic Structures / chemistry,  ultrasonography*
Microscopy, Electron, Transmission
Pneumocytes / chemistry,  ultrastructure*
Pulmonary Surfactant-Associated Proteins / analysis*
Species Specificity
Reg. No./Substance:
0/Pulmonary Surfactant-Associated Proteins

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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