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GPR116 is an orphan seven-pass transmembrane receptor whose function has been unclear. Global disruption of the Gpr116 gene in mice revealed an unexpected, critical role for this receptor in lung surfactant homeostasis, resulting in progressive accumulation of surfactant lipids and proteins in the alveolar space, labored breathing, and a reduced lifespan. GPR116 expression analysis, bone marrow transplantation studies, and characterization of conditional knockout mice revealed that GPR116 expression in ATII cells is required for maintaining normal surfactant levels. Aberrant packaging of surfactant proteins with lipids in the Gpr116 mutant mice resulted in compromised surfactant structure, function, uptake, and processing. Thus, GPR116 plays an indispensable role in lung surfactant homeostasis with important ramifications for the understanding and treatment of lung surfactant disorders.
Copyright © 2013 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
OBJECTIVES - We explored whether the introduction of 3 lifesaving innovations introduced between 1989 and 1996 increased, decreased, or had no effect on disparities in Black-White mortality in the United States through 2006.
METHODS - Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data were used to assess disease-, age-, gender-, and race-specific changes in mortality after the introduction of highly active anti-retroviral therapy (HAART) for treatment of HIV, surfactants for neonatal respiratory distress syndrome, and Medicare reimbursement of mammography screening for breast cancer.
RESULTS - Disparities in Black-White mortality from HIV significantly increased after the introduction of HAART, surfactant therapy, and reimbursement for screening mammography. Between 1989 and 2006, these circumstances may have accounted for an estimated 22,441 potentially avoidable deaths among Blacks.
CONCLUSIONS - These descriptive data contribute to the formulation of the hypothesis that federal laws promote increased disparities in Black-White mortality by inadvertently favoring Whites with respect to access to lifesaving innovations. Failure of legislation to address known social factors is a plausible explanation, at least in part, for the observed findings. Further research is necessary to test this hypothesis, including analytic epidemiological studies designed a priori to do so.
RATIONALE - Nitric oxide (NO) plays an important role in lung development and perinatal lung function, and pulmonary NO synthases (NOS) are decreased in bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) following preterm birth. Fetal estradiol levels increase during late gestation and estradiol up-regulates NOS, suggesting that after preterm birth estradiol deprivation causes attenuated lung NOS resulting in impaired pulmonary function.
OBJECTIVE - To test the effects of postnatal estradiol administration in a primate model of BPD over 14 days after delivery at 125 days of gestation (term = 185 d).
METHODS - Cardiopulmonary function was assessed by echocardiography and whole body plethysmography. Lung morphometric and histopathologic analyses were performed, and NOS enzymatic activity and abundance were measured.
MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS - Estradiol caused an increase in blood pressure and ductus arteriosus closure. Expiratory resistance and lung compliance were also improved, and this occurred before spontaneous ductal closure. Furthermore, both oxygenation and ventilation indices were improved with estradiol, and the changes in lung function and ventilatory support requirements persisted throughout the study period. Whereas estradiol had negligible effect on indicators of lung inflammation and on lung structure assessed after the initial 14 days of ventilatory support, it caused an increase in lung neuronal and endothelial NOS enzymatic activity.
CONCLUSIONS - In a primate model of BPD, postnatal estradiol treatment had favorable cardiovascular impact, enhanced pulmonary function, and lowered requirements for ventilatory support in association with an up-regulation of lung NOS. Estradiol may be an efficacious postnatal therapy to improve lung function and outcome in preterm infants.
Bronchopulmonary dysplasia, or chronic lung disease (CLD), of premature infants involves injury from hyperoxia and mechanical ventilation to an immature lung. We examined surfactant and nitric oxide (NO), which are developmentally deficient in premature infants, in the baboon model of developing CLD. Fetuses were delivered at 125 d gestation and were managed for 14 d with ventilation and oxygen prn without (controls) or with inhaled NO at 5 ppm. Compared with term infants, premature control infants had reduced maximal lung volume, decreased tissue content of surfactant proteins SP-A, -B, and -C, abnormal lavage surfactant as assessed by pulsating bubble surfactometer, and a low concentration of SP-B/phospholipid. NO treatment significantly increased maximal lung volume and tissue SP-A and SP-C, reduced recovery of lavage surfactant by 33%, decreased the total protein:phospholipid ratio of surfactant by 50%, and had no effect on phospholipid composition or SP content except for SP-C (50%). In both treatment groups, levels of SP-B and SP-C in surfactant were negatively correlated with STmin, with a 5-fold greater SP efficiency for NO versus control animals. By contrast, lung volume and compliance were not correlated with surfactant function. We conclude that surfactant is often dysfunctional in developing CLD secondary to SP-B deficiency. NO treatment improves the apparent ability of hydrophobic SP to promote low surface tension, perhaps secondary to less protein inactivation of surfactant, and improves lung volume by a process unrelated to surfactant function.
Surfactant protein B (SP-B) is synthesized by type II pneumocytes as a proprotein (proSP-B) that is proteolytically processed to an 8-kD protein. In human type II pneumocytes, we identified not only proSP-B, processing intermediates of proSP-B, and mature SP-B, but also fragments of the N-terminal propeptide. By means of immunoelectron microscopy, proSP-B and processing intermediates were localized in the endoplasmic reticulum, Golgi vesicles, and few multivesicular bodies in type II pneumocytes in human lungs. A colocalization of fragments of the N-terminal propeptide and mature SP-B was found in multivesicular, composite, and some lamellar bodies. Mature SP-B was localized over the projection core of lamellar bodies and core-like structures in tubular myelin figures. In line with immunoelectron microscopy and Western blot analysis of human type II pneumocytes, a fragment of the N-terminal propeptide was also detected in isolated rat lamellar bodies. In conclusion, our data indicate that the processing of proSP-B occurs between the Golgi complex and multivesicular bodies and provide evidence that a fragment of the N-terminal propeptide and mature SP-B are transported together to the lamellar bodies. In human lungs, mature SP-B is involved in the structural organization of lamellar bodies and tubular myelin by the formation of core particles.
Although surfactant apoproteins are known to be mediators of innate responses, their relationship to adaptive responses has not been examined extensively. We investigated possible links between surfactant apoproteins and responses to allergens by studying alterations in surfactant apoproteins A, B, and D in a murine model of allergic pulmonary inflammation. Three murine strains (BALB/c, C57BL/6, and 129J) demonstrated increased immunostaining of surfactant apoproteins A and D in nonciliated epithelial cells of noncartilaginous airways after aerosolized challenge. In contrast, surfactant apoprotein B immunostaining was unchanged. Immunoblotting demonstrated increased surfactant A in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid after allergen sensitization and challenge. Surfactant apoprotein A and D induction required T and/or B lymphocyte responses to allergen, since the induction was absent in recombinase-activating gene-deficient mice, which lack functional lymphocytes. We conclude that increased immunoreactivity of two collectins, surfactant apoproteins A and D, occurs within the response to allergen. Our findings support a model in which surfactant apoproteins A and D are important to both innate immunity and adaptive immune responses to allergens.
We report a simplified culture system for human fetal lung type II cells that maintains surfactant expression. Type II cells isolated from explant cultures of hormone-treated lungs (18-22 wk gestation) by collagenase + trypsin digestion were cultured on plastic for 4 days in serum-free medium containing dexamethasone (Dex, 10 nM) + 8-bromo-cAMP (0.1 mM + isobutylmethylxanthine (0.1 mM) or were untreated (control). Surfactant protein (SP) mRNAs decreased markedly in control cells between days 1 and 4 of culture, but mRNA levels were high in treated cells on day) 4 (SP-A, SP-B, SP-C, SP-D; 600%, 100%, 85%, 130% of day 0 content, respectively). Dex or cAMP alone increased SP-B, SP-C, and SP-D mRNAs and together had additive effects. The greatest increase in SP-A mRNA occurred with cAMP alone. Treated cells processed pro-SP-B and pro-SP-C proteins to mature forms and had a higher rate of phosphatidylcholine (PC) synthesis (2-fold) and higher saturation of PC (approximately 34% versus 27%) than controls. Only treated cells maintained secretagogue-responsive phospholipid synthesis. By electron microscopy, the treated cells retained lamellar bodies and extensive microvilli. We conclude that Dex and cAMP additively stimulate expression of surfactant components in isolated fetal type II cells, providing a simplified culture system for investigation of surfactant-related, and perhaps other, type II cell functions.
Intratracheal bleomycin in rats is associated with respiratory distress of uncertain etiology. We investigated the expression of surfactant components in this model of lung injury. Maximum respiratory distress, determined by respiratory rate, occurred at 7 days, and surfactant dysfunction was confirmed by increased surface tension of the large-aggregate fraction of bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL). In injured animals, phospholipid content and composition were similar to those of controls, mature surfactant protein (SP) B was decreased 90%, and SP-A and SP-D contents were increased. In lung tissue, SP-B and SP-C mRNAs were decreased by 2 days and maximally at 4--7 days and recovered between 14 and 21 days after injury. Immunostaining of SP-B and proSP-C was decreased in type II epithelial cells but strong in macrophages. By electron microscopy, injured lungs had type II cells lacking lamellar bodies and macrophages with phagocytosed lamellar bodies. Surface activity of BAL phospholipids of injured animals was restored by addition of exogenous SP-B. We conclude that respiratory distress after bleomycin in rats results from surfactant dysfunction in part secondary to selective downregulation of SP-B and SP-C.
Remarkable progress has been made in the past 10 years with regard to understanding the interplay of potent physiologic mediators in patients with acute lung injury. Because there are so many mediators and the interaction of these agents is complex, true insight into the process has been slow in coming. Clinical studies in ARDS, as well as sepsis, the leading cause of ARDS, have increased in number, size, and quality over this same period. Although none of these studies has produced an accepted new therapy for ARDS, each has laid the groundwork for more efficient and more elegant studies of the problem. The stage is now set for the real advances to be brought forward and put to rigorous, efficient clinical testing.
Hereditary surfactant protein B (SP-B) deficiency has been lethal in the first year of life without lung transplantation. We tested the hypothesis that SP-B gene mutations may result in milder phenotypes by investigating the mechanisms for lung disease in two children with less severe symptoms than have been previously observed in SP-B deficiency. Immunostaining patterns for pulmonary surfactant proteins were consistent with SP-B deficiency in both children. DNA sequence analysis indicated that both children were homozygous for a mutation in exon 5 that created an alternative splice site. Reverse transcriptase PCR and sequence analysis confirmed use of this splice site, which resulted in a frameshift and a premature termination codon in exon 7. The predominant reverse transcriptase PCR product, however, lacked exon 7, which restored the reading frame but would not allow translation of the exons that encode mature SP-B. Western blot analysis detected reduced amounts of mature SP-B as well as an aberrant SP-B proprotein that corresponded to the size expected from translation of the abnormal transcript. We conclude that a novel splicing mutation was the cause of lung disease in these children and that hereditary SP-B deficiency can be the cause of lung disease in older children.