Document Detail

The role of surfactant in the static lung mechanics of the lizard Ctenophorus nuchalis.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  8272579     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
We previously showed that the lung of the central Australian lizard, Ctenophorus nuchalis, contains a large amount of surfactant, the composition of which varies with body temperature. We now show that the specific compliance of the lungs of these lizards remains constant regardless of whether they were maintained at 10, 18, 27, 37 or 43 degrees C for 4 hours. In contrast, the opening pressure was constant up to 27 degrees C, but decreased at 37 and 43 degrees C. When we lavaged the lungs in situ to remove the majority of surfactant, specific compliance decreased while opening pressure increased. The lungs of C. nuchalis are essentially two bubbles, with the left one larger at low and intermediate volumes. After collapsing both lungs, the larger left lung always inflated first. However, following lavage the smaller right lung inflated first. As the larger lung, when collapsed, would have a much greater area of epithelial contact, this result is consistent with surfactant acting as an 'antiglue'. During deflation the smaller lung collapsed first, consistent with the law of Laplace. Compliance did not change in the saline-filled lung suggesting that the gas-liquid interface does not play a major role. We conclude that in the lungs of these lizards, surfactant is acting as an antiglue. This might be important during periods of apnea at low body temperatures, when residual volume is small and epithelial surfaces may come into contact.
C B Daniels; B D Eskandari-Marandi; T E Nicholas
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Respiration physiology     Volume:  94     ISSN:  0034-5687     ISO Abbreviation:  Respir Physiol     Publication Date:  1993 Oct 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  1994-01-31     Completed Date:  1994-01-31     Revised Date:  2009-11-11    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0047142     Medline TA:  Respir Physiol     Country:  NETHERLANDS    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  11-23     Citation Subset:  IM    
Department of Human Physiology, School of Medicine, Flinders University of South Australia, Adelaide.
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MeSH Terms
Body Temperature
Epithelium / physiology
Lizards / physiology*
Lung / chemistry,  physiology*
Lung Compliance / physiology
Pulmonary Surfactants / analysis,  physiology*
Respiratory Mechanics / drug effects,  physiology*
Time Factors
Reg. No./Substance:
0/Pulmonary Surfactants

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