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Pediatr Pulmonol. 2001 Sep;32(3):193-200.

Cell-specific expression of manganese superoxide dismutase protein in the lungs of patients with respiratory distress syndrome, chronic lung disease, or persistent pulmonary hypertension.

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Hospital for Children and Adolescents, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland.


The developmental profile of manganese superoxide dismutase (MnSOD) and its regulation in hyperoxia vary between species. We hypothesized that MnSOD increases in human lung in response to oxygen treatment, although this response could be restricted to certain cell types and depend on gestational age. Therefore, the cell-specific expression of pulmonary immunoreactive MnSOD protein was investigated during development, and in patients with respiratory distress syndrome (RDS), chronic lung disease (CLD), or persistent pulmonary hypertension (PPHN). Throughout ontogenesis, all cell types expressed MnSOD, but the most intense positivity was found in bronchiolar epithelium and (pre-) type-II pneumocytes. MnSOD protein did not increase during development. The MnSOD staining pattern in arterial endothelium was more intense in RDS patients than in age-matched controls, but this may be related to induction of MnSOD by increased blood flow rather than by oxygen. MnSOD expression in other cell types of RDS, CLD, or PPHN patients did not differ from that in age-matched controls. We conclude that, in terms of mitochondrial enzymatic superoxide scavenging capacity, preterm infants are not more vulnerable than term infants to oxygen-induced lung injury at physiological oxygen concentrations. However, the inability to induce MnSOD in response to oxygen treatment may result in a poor outcome.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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