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Am J Physiol. 1996 Feb;270(2 Pt 1):L173-82.

Extracellular glutathione peroxidase in human lung epithelial lining fluid and in lung cells.

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  • 1Department of Pediatrics, University of Rochester Medical Center, New York 14642, USA.


The epithelial cells of the lower respiratory tract are exposed to high levels of inhaled oxygen and other oxidants. We hypothesized that lung cells would secrete the antioxidant enzyme, extracellular glutathione peroxidase (eGPx), into epithelial lining fluid (ELF). To investigate this hypothesis, we used specific immunoprecipitations of GPx enzymes from ELF, specific immunoprecipitations of 75Se metabolically labeled proteins from lung cells in culture, and in situ hybridization, Northern blot, and reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) analyses. Fifty-seven percent of ELF GPx activity was due to eGPx and 40% was due to cellular GPx (cGPx). Primary bronchial epithelial cells (BEC), primary alveolar macrophages (AM), and two human bronchial epithelial cell lines, BEP2D and A549, synthesized both eGPx and cGPx and secreted eGPx into the medium. Freshly isolated human AM and BEC expressed eGPx mRNA, while freshly isolated rabbit type 2 pneumocytes did not. In lung tissue, eGPx mRNA was found mainly in interstitial cells of tissue surrounding airways. It is concluded that more than half of GPx activity in BAL is due to eGPx, and that BEC, AM, and interstitial cells are potential sources of pulmonary eGPx.

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