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Biochim Biophys Acta. 1979 Jan 29;572(1):64-76.

Effects of betamethasone on phospholipid content, composition and biosynthesis in the fetal rabbit lung.


Administration of betamethasone (0.2 mg/kg, intramuscularly) to pregnant rabbits had the following effects on the fetal lung at 26--27 days gestation. It increased the amount of phosphatidylcholine in lung lavage by 70% and almost doubled the phosphatidylcholine/sphingomyelin ratio, it increased the rate of incorporation of choline into phosphatidylcholine in fetal lung slices by up to 90%, it increased the activities of pulmonary cholinephosphate cytidylyltransferase and phosphatidate phosphatase by 50% and it reduced the amount of lung glycogen to 60% of the amount in the controls. Betamethasone had no effect on the activities of pulmonary cholinephosphotransferase or lysolecithin: lysolecithin acyltransferase but it slightly decreased the activity of choline kinase. Betamethasone administration to the doe did not increase the amount of surfactant phospholipid in fetal lung lavage to as great an extent as did direct administration of cortisol to the fetuses. Neither did betamethasone stimulate the activity of pulmonary cholinephosphotransferase. These data suggest that agents other than glucocorticoids mediate the stress-induced acceleration of fetal lung maturation and surfactant production.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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