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Am J Physiol Lung Cell Mol Physiol. 2002 Aug;283(2):L256-64.

Maintenance of the mouse type II cell phenotype in vitro.

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Division of Pulmonary Biology, Children's Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, Ohio 45229-3039, USA.


The purpose of this study was to identify culture conditions for maintenance of isolated mouse type II cells with intact surfactant protein (SP) and phospholipid production. Type II cells were isolated from 6-wk-old mice and cultured on Matrigel matrix-rat tail collagen (70:30 vol/vol) in bronchial epithelial cell growth medium minus hydrocortisone plus 5% charcoal-stripped FBS and 10 ng/ml keratinocyte growth factor. Under these conditions, type II cells actively produced surfactant phospholipids and proteins for at least 7 days. Synthesis and secretion of surfactant phospholipids and SP-A, -B, -C, and -D declined on day 1 of culture but recovered by day 3, reaching levels comparable to or exceeding freshly isolated cells by day 5. Abundant lamellar bodies were readily apparent in cells examined on days 5 and 7, and a surfactant pellet was recovered by centrifugation of media harvested on each day of culture. Secretion of SP-B, SP-C, and phosphatidylcholine was stimulated by phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate and was inhibited by compound 48/80. When tested with a bubble surfactometer, surfactant secreted by type II cells on day 5 of culture lowered surface tension to 5.2 +/- 2.3 mN/m. This is the first description of the synthesis and secretion of a functional surfactant complex by mouse type II cells after 7 days in primary culture.

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