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Eur J Med Res. 1997 Dec 31;2(12):499-505.

Biochemical and cellular composition of alveolar epithelial lining fluid in anesthetized healthy lambs.

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Ludwig-Maximilians-University, Institute for Surgical Research, Munich, Germany.


Pulmonary toxicity of inhaled materials is often evaluated by (repetitive) assessment of the composition of bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluid or of epithelial lining fluid (ELF) in sheep and lambs. Knowledge of the typical constituents of these fluids obtained from healthy animals is essential for identification of pathologic changes. Few studies have dealt with normal constituents of BAL fluid or ELF in sheep and lamb. The comparability of these studies, however, is limited for reasons concerning the choice of model and BAL technique. The biochemical and cellular composition of alveolar ELF obtained by a standardized BAL procedure was examined in 15 pento-barbital anesthetized 4 months old Merino lambs unexposed to inhaled substances. ELF volume was calculated by using the urea dilution method. We found 20.3 x 10(5) leucocytes per ml ELF, 87.5% of which were alveolar macrophages. Basophils and neutrophils were practically absent while 5% of the counted cells were lymphocytes. 76% of recovered cells were viable. The ELF contained 7 mg/ml total protein; enzyme activities of LDH and AP were 1692 U/l and 145 U/l, respectively.

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