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Antioxid Redox Signal. 2004 Feb;6(1):185-90.

Regulation of surfactant protein gene expression by hyperoxia in the lung.

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Department of Molecular Biology, The University of Texas Health Center at Tyler, Tyler, TX 75708-3154, USA.


Pulmonary surfactant, a complex of lipids and proteins, maintains alveolar integrity and participates in the control of host defense and inflammation in the lung. Surfactant proteins A, B, C, and D are important components of surfactant that play diverse roles in the surface tension reducing as well as host defense and inflammation control functions of surfactant. Hyperoxia or exposure of cells/tissues to elevated levels of oxygen occurs when high levels of oxygen are used to treat a variety of pulmonary disorders that include respiratory distress syndrome of premature infants, emphysema, sarcoidosis, end-stage lung diseases, and others. The lung serves as a primary target organ in hyperoxia, and hyperoxic lung injury is characterized by pulmonary edema, inflammation, and respiratory failure. Hyperoxic lung injury is associated with significant changes in the expression of surfactant proteins that likely serves as an adaptive response to elevated oxygen levels. In most animal species studied, hyperoxia increases the tissue expression of surfactant protein mRNAs. A limited number of studies have indicated that the increased tissue expression of surfactant protein mRNAs is associated with increased levels of surfactant proteins in the bronchoalveolar lavage.

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