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Biochim Biophys Acta. 1998 Jun 16;1398(2):192-202.

Regulation of expression of human SP-A1 and SP-A2 genes in fetal lung explant culture.

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Department of Cellular and Molecular Physiology, Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine, Hershey 17033, USA.


Human pulmonary surfactant protein A (SP-A) is genetically complex and its regulation may also be complex, reflecting genotypic variability. Fetal lung explants were used to study the regulation of the SP-A genes, SP-A1 and SP-A2, by dexamethasone, interferon, gamma (IFN gamma), cyclic 3',-5' adenosine monophosphate (cAMP), and tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF alpha). For comparison, the mRNA levels of surfactant protein B (SP-B) and its response to test substances were also examined. Results showed: (a) In control culture total SP-A mRNA varied widely among explants (C.V. = 0.70) compared with SP-B (C.V. = 0.26) (b) IFN gamma significantly increased total SP-A mRNA but there were marked differences among fetal lungs in response to all treatments. (c) SP-A1 mRNA concentration is higher than SP-A2 in both control and treated explants. (d) SP-A1 alleles are inhibited to a greater degree by dexamethasone than SP-A2 alleles. The relative effect of cAMP and IFN gamma on SP-A1 and SP-A2 mRNA varied widely among explants. We conclude that SP-A genotype may account in part for the marked differences in SP-A mRNA concentration among fetal lungs and that the SP-A genes and/or alleles may be differentially regulated.

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