Background: Exogenous surfactant has been accepted worldwide as a therapy of RDS in premature and term infants. Exogenous surfactant is usually derived from lung extracts containing phospholipids and the surfactant proteins SP-B and SP-C. Synthetic peptides of SP-B and SP-C are being tested with the aim to develop a completely synthetic surfactant preparation. Nevertheless, the effects of these peptides on the endogenous surfactant metabolism remain unknown. Objectives: The effect of synthetic SP-B peptides on uptake of surfactant-like liposomes was investigated in alveolar cells. Native SP-B and seven SP-B peptides were included: monomeric and dimeric SP-B1-25(Cys-11 → Ala-11), SP-B63-78and Ala-SP-B63-78(Cys-71 → Ala-71;Cys-77 → Ala-77)and their serine mutants. Methods: In vitro, alveolar macrophages (AM) and alveolar type II cells (ATII) were incubated with liposomes containing SP-B or one of its peptides. In vivo, rats received intratracheally various SP-B peptides (SP-B/lipid ratio 1:33 w/w) incorporated in fluorescent surfactant-like liposomes. One hour after instillation, AM and ATII were isolated and cell-associated fluorescence was determined using flow cytometry. Confocal laser microscopy was performed to ensure internalization of the liposomes. Results: In vitro uptake by AM or ATII was not influenced by the SP-B peptides. In vivo, SP-B1-25and Ser-SP-B1-25increased the uptake by AM whereas dSP-B1-25decreased the uptake. Neither SP-B1-25nor dSP-B1-25affected total uptake by ATII. The overall uptake by SP-B63-78variants was not changed. Conclusions: Surface-active synthetic SP-B peptides do not interfere with the normaluptake of surfactant by ATII. Copyright

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Keywords Surfactant, lung, Synthetic peptides
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Poelma, D.L, Walther, F.J, Waring, A.J, Haitsma, J.J, Zimmermann, L.J.I, Lachmann, B.F, & van Iwaarden, J.D. (2007). Effect of SP-B peptides on the uptake of liposomes by alveolar cells. Neonatology: fetal and neonatal research, 91(4), 233–240. doi:10.1159/000098170