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Am J Physiol. 1996 May;270(5 Pt 1):L714-21.

Tumor necrosis factor-alpha decreases surfactant protein B mRNA in murine lung.

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


Respiratory failure secondary to acute lung inflammation is associated with quantitative and qualitative abnormalities of pulmonary surfactant. The surfactant-associated proteins (SP)-A, -B, and -C are critical for normal surfactant function, synthesis, and metabolism. Tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha), a primary mediator of acute lung inflammation, decreased SP gene expression in vitro (32, 34). In the present in vivo study, transient T cell activation and TNF-alpha release were initiated by intraperitoneal administration of anti-CD3 antibody 145-2C11. Serum TNF-alpha was elevated 2 h after injection of the antibody. SP-B and -C mRNA were decreased 12 and 24 h after antibody treatment. Intratracheal murine TNF-alpha also resulted in decreased SP-B and SP-C mRNA levels in the bronchiolar and alveolar epithelium of adult FVB/N mice, as demonstrated by S1 nuclease protection and in situ hybridization assays, despite minimal histological inflammation. SP-A mRNA was not significantly altered after anti-CD3 antibody and was only mildly decreased after TNF-alpha. As previously reported, intercellular adhesion molecule-1 mRNA was elevated after intratracheal TNF-alpha. SP insufficiency contributes to the pathogenesis of pulmonary diseases associated with increased TNF-alpha, such as adult respiratory distress syndrome and pneumonia (8). TNF-alpha-mediated decrease in SP gene expression may contribute to the surfactant dysfunction and atelectasis observed in inflammatory lung diseases.

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