We used immunolocalization and in situ hybridization to determine the distribution of SP-A and SP-A mRNA in lungs of human fetuses and normal newborn infants. Early in the second fetal trimester a few immunostained cells were observed in tracheal epithelium, often in mucosal folds near the origin of submucosal gland ducts. Non-mucous tracheal gland cells were immunostained for SP-A as they became differentiated. Expression of SP-A mRNA was similar to that of immunolocalization in the second trimester. Immunostained cells and SP-A mRNA also appeared about the same time in gestation in isolated cells of bronchial epithelium and glands. SP-A mRNA was seen in bronchiolar cells and pre-Type II cells lining terminal airways of fetuses at 19-20 weeks of gestation. Only in liveborn infants did cells of bronchioloalveolar portals and mature Type II cells contain SP-A mRNA or immunostain for SP-A. In postnatal infants, luminal material was also stained for SP-A. Although some alveolar macrophages contained immunoreactive material, SP-A mRNA was never detected. The abundance of SP-A in tracheal and bronchial glands and epithelium of conducting airways supports the importance of non-surfactant-associated functions for SP-A and may be related to a role in host defense.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||9|
|Journal||Journal of Histochemistry and Cytochemistry|
|State||Published - 1993|
- Blood group A
- In situ hybridization
ASJC Scopus subject areas