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Environ Health Perspect. 1984 Apr;55:205-26.

Lung surfactant.


Aspects of pulmonary surfactant are reviewed from a biochemical perspective. The major emphasis is on the lipid components of surfactant. Topics reviewed include surfactant composition, cellular and subcellular sites as well as pathways of biosynthesis of phosphatidylcholine, disaturated phosphatidylcholine and phosphatidylglycerol. The surfactant system in the developing fetus and neonate is considered in terms of phospholipid content and composition, rates of precursor incorporation, activities of individual enzymes of phospholipid synthesis and glycogen content and metabolism. The influence of the following hormones and other factors on lung maturation and surfactant production is discussed: glucocorticoids, thyroid hormone, estrogen, prolactin, cyclic AMP, beta-adrenergic and cholinergic agonists, prostaglandins and growth factors. The influence of maternal diabetes, fetal sex, stress and labor are also considered. Nonphysiologic and toxic agents which influence surfactant in the fetus, newborn and adult are reviewed.

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