Surfactant-associated protein B kinetics in vivo in newborn infants by stable isotopes

Paola Cogo, Aldo Baritussio, Federica Rosso, Antonina Gucciardi, Vincenzo Moretti, Tamara Badon, Elena Duner, Luc Zimmernann, Virgilio P. Carnielli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Surfactant-associated protein B (SP-B) is critical to the biophysical function of pulmonary surfactant. No information is available on SP-B synthesis and kinetics in humans. We administered a 24-h i.v. infusion of 13C-valine as metabolic precursor of SP-B to six newborn infants (weight 3.5 ± 0.5 kg; age 12 d, range 1-43 d). Three of the study infants also received i.v. 2H-palmitate to label surfactant disaturated phosphatidylcholine (DSPC). SP-B and DSPC were isolated from tracheal aspirates, and their respective 13C and 2H enrichments were measured by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. SP-B kinetics was measured successfully in all six infants. SP-B median (range) fractional synthesis rate was 30% per day (20-78% per day), secretion time was 4.5 h (1-9 h), time to peak was 24 h (12-36 h), and half-life was 21 h (8-35 h). The ascending part of the SP-B kinetic curve was similar to the DSPC curve, suggesting similar secretion pathways. SP-B half-life seemed to be shorter than DSPC half-life. These results agree with existing animal data. We conclude that the measurement of SP-B kinetics is feasible in vivo in humans by stable isotope technology.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)519-522
Number of pages4
JournalPediatric Research
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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