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Biochim Biophys Acta. 1983 Jun 2;762(3):398-404.

Properties of freshly isolated type II alveolar epithelial cells.


The biochemical characteristics of type II alveolar epithelial cells dissociated from adult rabbit lung by instillation of low concentrations of an elastase trypsin mixture are reported. Cells studied immediately (within 4 h) after isolation were found to incorporate the radioactively labelled precursors [U-14C]glucose, [methyl-3H]choline and [3H]palmitate into cellular phosphatidylcholine at rates 2-10-fold higher than previously reported for cells not subject to short-term cell culture. Secretion of phosphatidylcholine was stimulated by beta-adrenergic agonists. Measurement of specific activities of enzymes of phospholipid biosynthesis in subcellular fractions of isolated lung cells showed a significant enrichment of acyl coenzyme A-lysophosphatidylcholine acyltransferase, an enzyme believed to be involved in pulmonary surfactant phosphatidylcholine remodeling, in the endoplasmic reticulum of type II cells. These observations support the utility of freshly isolated type II cells as a model system for the study of the functions of the alveolar epithelium.

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