During lung development type II alveolar epithelial cells produce extracellular pulmonary surfactant. Polyclonal antibodies were produced against nonserum proteins associated with human surfactant. The present studies were designed (i) to determine if mouse surfactant proteins were antigenically cross-reactive with polyclonal antibodies directed against human surfactant proteins; and (ii) to determine surfactant protein localization during fetal, neonatal, and adult mouse lung development. Two-dimensional gel electrophoresis studies in conjunction with immunologic techniques provided evidence that mouse and human surfactant proteins shared antigenic determinants. The major monomeric form of mouse surfactant protein is a glycoprotein of approximately Mr 35,000 under reducing conditions. A less abundant form was identified as a Mr 45,000 polypeptide. Immunohistochemical localization showed that type II cells contain surfactant protein at Theiler stage 26. A gradient of immunostaining was localized within alveolar surfaces. The antigen was not detected in heart, blood vessels, or pulmonary interstitial cells. Surfactant protein was detected lining alveolar surfaces in mature adult lung. The distribution of this protein during fetal and neonatal lung morphogenesis suggests that this extracellular constituent of pulmonary surfactant may be extremely useful as a phenotypic marker with which to evaluate normal and abnormal lung development.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Biology
- Developmental Biology
- Cell Biology