The uptake of fluorescent-labeled liposomes (with a surfactant-like composition) by alveolar macrophages and alveolar type II cells was studied using flow cytometry, in vivo by instillation of the labeled liposomes in the trachea of ventilated rats followed by isolation of the alveolar cells and determination of the cell-associated fluorescence, and in vitro by incubation of isolated alveolar cells with the fluorescent liposomes. The results show that the uptake of liposomes by the alveolar cells is time and concentration dependent. In vivo alveolar macrophages internalize more than three times as many liposomes as alveolar type II cells, whereas in vitro, the amount of internalized liposomes by these cells is approximately the same. In vitro, practically all the cells (70-75%) internalize liposomes, whereas in vivo only 30% of the alveolar type II cells ingest liposomes vs. 70% of the alveolar macrophages. These results indicate that in vivo, only a small subpopulation of alveolar type II cells is able to internalize surfactant liposomes.

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Keywords Animals, Cell Separation, Fluorescence, Lipids/*pharmacokinetics, Liposomes/chemistry/pharmacokinetics, Macrophages, Alveolar/*metabolism, Male, Pulmonary Alveoli/cytology/*metabolism, Pulmonary Surfactants/*chemistry, Rats, Rats, Sprague-Dawley, Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't, Tissue Distribution
Persistent URL,
Poelma, D.L., Zimmermann, L.J.I., Scholten, H.H., Lachmann, B.F., & van Iwaarden, J.F.. (2002). In vivo and in vitro uptake of surfactant lipids by alveolar type II cells and macrophages.. American Journal of Physiology: Lung Cellular and Molecular Physiology, 648–654. doi:10.1152/ajplung.00478.2001