course hero what role does pulmonary surfactant play in the alveoli?

by Mrs. Lorna Heathcote DDS 7 min read

Pulmonary surfactant is a mixture of lipids


In biology and biochemistry, a lipid is a biomolecule that is soluble in nonpolar solvents. Non-polar solvents are typically hydrocarbons used to dissolve other naturally occurring hydrocarbon lipid molecules that do not dissolve in water, including fatty acids, waxes, sterols, fat-soluble vitamins, monoglycerides, diglycerides, triglycerides, and phospholipids.

and proteins which is secreted into the alveolar space by epithelial type II cells. The main function of surfactant is to lower the surface tension at the air/liquid interface within the alveoli of the lung. This is needed to lower the work of breathing and to prevent alveolar collapse at end-expiration.

Full Answer

What are pulmonary surfactants?

o Type II alveolar cells produce surfactant (which stands for surface acting agents) Produce phospholipids that are secreting in between the water molecules o When we put the phospholipids in between the water molecules, it is preventing hydrogen bonding o By adding surfactant we are able to have small and large alveolar sacs and the small alveolar sacs will …

What is the primary surface-active molecule at the air–fluid interface in alveoli?

Surfactant helps reduce surface tension within the alveoli, thus preventing each alveolus from collapsing as air moves in and out during respiration. c. Surfactant provides a layer of protective mucus that covers a large portion of the membrane that lines the respiratory tree, thereby purifying the air during inhalation. d.

What happens to surfactant lipids during air breathing?

Jul 25, 2021 · Pulmonary surfactant is a complex mixture of specific proteins, lipids, and carbohydrates, produced in the lungs. The Pulmonary surfactant is formed by the alveolar type ll cells of the lungs. Pulmonary surfactant helps to reduce the surface tension of the air-liquid interface in the alveoli of the lungs.

What is the role of surfactant in respiratory distress syndrome?

• The secreted material acts as pulmonary surfactant by spreading over the entire inner alveolar surface. SURFACTANT • Lowers surface tension at the air-epithelium interface, which helps prevent alveolar collapse at exhalation and allows alveoli to be inflated with less inspiratory force, easing the work of breathing.

What role does pulmonary surfactant play in the alveoli?

Pulmonary surfactant is essential for life as it lines the alveoli to lower surface tension, thereby preventing atelectasis during breathing. Surfactant is enriched with a relatively unique phospholipid, termed dipalmitoylphosphatidylcholine, and four surfactant-associated proteins, SP-A, SP-B, SP-C, and SP-D.Feb 24, 2015

What is the role of surfactant in the lungs quizlet?

Surfactant reduces surface tension throughout the lung. It is also important because it stabilizes the alveoli. That is, at a constant surface tension, small alveoli will generate bigger pressures within them than will large alveoli.

What is the role of the surfactant released by the type II cells in the alveoli?

Alveolar type II cells secrete a lipoprotein material called surfactant, whose primary function is to reduce the surface tension in the alveoli.

What is surfactant and what does it do for the developing lungs?

Surfactant is a mixture of fat and proteins made in the lungs. Surfactant coats the alveoli (the air sacs in the lungs where oxygen enters the body). This prevents the alveoli from sticking together when your baby exhales (breathes out).

What is the role of alveoli and surfactant in respiration quizlet?

Makes the alveoli stable against collapse. Pulmonary surfactant is produced by Type II alveolar cells and reduces alveolar surface tension by interspersing itself between the water molecules. This increases lung compliance and reduces the tendency of the lungs to recoil inward.

What is the role of surfactant in lung compliance?

Pulmonary surfactant thus greatly reduces surface tension, increasing compliance allowing the lung to inflate much more easily, thereby reducing the work of breathing. It reduces the pressure difference needed to allow the lung to inflate.

How is lung surfactant secreted?

Secretion of lung surfactant is the direct step in release of the lipoprotein-like product, synthesized in lung epithelial type II cells, onto the alveolar surface. Release of surfactant phosphatidylcholine (PC) proceeds via formation of surface pores during exocytosis of lamellar bodies.

Which type of lung cells secretes pulmonary surfactant quizlet?

The alveolar cell that secretes pulmonary surfactant is the: alveolar type II cell. Phagocytic cells of the alveolus are the: alveolar macrophages.

What secretes surfactant in the lungs?

The pulmonary surfactant is produced by the alveolar type-II (AT-II) cells of the lungs. It is essential for efficient exchange of gases and for maintaining the structural integrity of alveoli. Surfactant is a secretory product, composed of lipids and proteins.

What role does lung surfactant play in the development of a newborn?

Surfactant is a liquid made by the lungs that keeps the airways (alveoli) open. This liquid makes it possible for babies to breathe in air after delivery.

What effect does surfactant have on airflow?

Why does surfactant affect airflow? It decreases surface tension in the alveoli making it easier for the alveoli to increase surface area for gas exchange.

What is the pulmonary ventilation?

Pulmonary ventilation is commonly referred to as breathing. It is the process of air flowing into the lungs during inspiration (inhalation) and out of the lungs during expiration (exhalation).

What is a pulmonary surfactant?

Pulmonary surfactants are a complex of specific lipids, proteins and carbohydrates secreted by type II alveolar epithelial cells. The complex is amphiphilic ( i.e. it contains both hydrophobic and hydrophilic groups), making it ideally suited as a surface-active agent to decrease surface tension at the air–liquid interface in the alveoli during the respiratory cycle. For the purposes of this review, surfactant will be used to mean mammalian pulmonary surfactant.

What are the two main pools of pulmonary surfactant?

Pulmonary surfactant exists in two major pools: intracellular and extracellular . Most of our knowledge of this complex is derived from studying the extracel lular pool secreted by type II alveolar epithelial cells into the alveolar space. Intracel lular surfactant pools (lamellar bodies) show similarity to the alveolar components, when studied [ 12 ]. Since steps involved in the extraction and purification of pulmonary surfactant can affect the composition of the mixture, the purification process needs to be carefully considered while interpreting results of studies [ 13 ]. Previous sources of pulmonary surfactant (pulmonary oedema foam [ 3 ]) have been replaced by fractionated lung homogenates and alveolar washes for extraction, followed by density gradient centrifugation for purification of the components [ 14 ].

How long does it take for a lung to develop?

The development of the lung during organogenesis starts at around 3–4 weeks of gestation as a bud from the foregut; further development proceeds in five distinct stages that overlap at their ends [ 23 ]. At the end of the second stage (pseudoglandular), at 16 weeks of gestation, the tracheobronchial tree is complete and is lined by undifferentiated epithelium surrounded by mesenchyme. During the third, or canalicular, stage of development, the respiratory bronchioles and alveolar ducts develop, and the epithelium lining them differentiates into type I and type II cells. Lamellar bodies (see later) and surfactant protein can be detected in the cuboidal type II epithelial cells at around 24 weeks of gestation. These cells are rich in glycogen, which possibly act as a precursor of surfactant phospholipids, and have all the organelles required for the synthesis of surfactant. Further development of the epithelium and secretion of surfactant, and increased complexity of the airspaces, proceeds in the final stages of lung development, vis-à-vis the saccular and alveolar stages. Surfactant secreted into the airspaces in utero can be detected in amniotic fluid in later gestation, and was the basis of a clinical test to detect lung maturity [ 24 ].

What causes atelectasis in the lungs?

In 1929, Kurt von Neergaard put forward the idea that the “retractile forces of the lungs depend on surface tension in the alveoli, and this could be the cause of atelectasis in the newborn lungs.” [ 1] In elegant experiments conducted on lung specimens from stillborn and newborn infants dying within 3 days after birth (six out of 15 had a low birth weight), G ruenwald [ 2] demonstrated that atelectatic lungs were more difficult to inflate with air than with fluid and required higher pressures. On addition of amyl acetate, a surface-active agent, the inflation pressure was reduced, suggesting that surface tension was the cause of the resistance to inflation. These observations were confirmed in experiments on ex vivo lungs of preterm infants dying of hyaline membrane disease (HMD; pathological description of respiratory distress syndrome, see later). These lungs could be expanded in the presence of liquid, but developed atelectasis with areas of overdistension when expanded in air [ 3 ]. P attle [ 4] provided evidence of a lining layer in the alveoli that decreases surface tension, while conducting experiments on the stability of bubbles. He demonstrated that this layer could not have originated from serum (or pulmonary oedema fluid) but must be secreted in the lungs. While researching anti-foam agents to prevent pulmonary oedema, P attle [ 5] conducted detailed experiments to show the physical property of lung fluid in lowering surface tension. He also demonstrated the presence and importance of protein components in the lung fluid, which lost its surface-active properties on incubation with pancreatin or trypsin. Using a modified Wilhelmy balance (a model to study surface films), A very [ 1] and colleagues demonstrated that surface tension in lung extracts of premature infants dying of HMD had higher surface tension compared to more mature infants, children or adults. They suggested that this could be a significant factor in the pathogenesis of HMD.

What is RDS in infants?

Respiratory distress syndrome (RDS) is the prototypical disease of surfactant deficiency in preterm newborn infants. Infants born at the extremes of viability (≤28 weeks gestational age) have immature lungs with severe deficiency of surfactant production. After birth, they need respiratory support and are said to develop RDS. This is characterised primarily by a combination of clinical (prematurity and respiratory distress) and radiological (small volume lungs, “ground-glass” haziness, air bronchograms and loss of cardiac borders on chest radiographs; fig. 3) features. Other names in use for this condition are surfactant deficiency disorder and HMD.

What is surfactant in neonatal care?

Surfactants are natural complexes of phospholipids and proteins that are present at the air–liquid interface of the lungs to lower surface tension . Replacement with exogenous surfactant in preterm infants is one of the most significant advances in neonatology. Exogenous surfactant therapy may also have a role in other respiratory disorders of the newborn and of older children, but further work is required to establish its place. Further research is also required into newer novel methods of its delivery, optimal composition and timing. However, the place of this intervention has been firmly fixed in medicine.

What is surfactant mixture?

The surfactant mixture is an essential group of molecules to support air breathing. Thus, preterm infants, who are born with immature lungs and are surfactant deficient, ...