Alterations of alveolar type II cells and intraalveolar surfactant after bronchoalveolar lavage and perfluorocarbon ventilation. An electron microscopical and stereological study in the rat lung

Research output: Contribution to journalResearch articleContributedpeer-review


  • Mario Rüdiger - , Department of Paediatrics, Center for feto/neonatal Health, Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Innsbruck Medical University (Author)
  • Sebastian Wendt - , University of Göttingen (Author)
  • Lars Köthe - , University of Göttingen (Author)
  • Wolfram Burkhardt - , Innsbruck Medical University (Author)
  • Roland R. Wauer - , Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin (Author)
  • Matthias Ochs - , University of Göttingen, University of Bern (Author)


Background: Repeated bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) has been used in animals to induce surfactant depletion and to study therapeutical interventions of subsequent respiratory insufficiency. Intratracheal administration of surface active agents such as perfluorocarbons (PFC) can prevent the alveolar collapse in surfactant depleted lungs. However, it is not known how BAL or subsequent PFC administration affect the intracellular and intraalveolar surfactant pool.Methods: Male wistar rats were surfactant depleted by BAL and treated for 1 hour by conventional mechanical ventilation (Lavaged-Gas, n = 5) or partial liquid ventilation with PF 5080 (Lavaged-PF5080, n = 5). For control, 10 healthy animals with gas (Healthy-Gas, n = 5) or PF5080 filled lungs (Healthy-PF5080, n = 5) were studied. A design-based stereological approach was used for quantification of lung parenchyma and the intracellular and intraalveolar surfactant pool at the light and electron microscopic level.Results: Compared to Healthy-lungs, Lavaged-animals had more type II cells with lamellar bodies in the process of secretion and freshly secreted lamellar body-like surfactant forms in the alveoli. The fraction of alveolar epithelial surface area covered with surfactant and total intraalveolar surfactant content were significantly smaller in Lavaged-animals. Compared with Gas-filled lungs, both PF5080-groups had a significantly higher total lung volume, but no other differences.Conclusion: After BAL-induced alveolar surfactant depletion the amount of intracellularly stored surfactant is about half as high as in healthy animals. In lavaged animals short time liquid ventilation with PF5080 did not alter intra- or extracellular surfactant content or subtype composition.


Original languageEnglish
Article number40
JournalRespiratory research
Publication statusPublished - 5 Jun 2007

External IDs

PubMed 17550584


ASJC Scopus subject areas