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March 1971

Comparative Lipid Chemistry of Lungs

Author Affiliations

San Francisco

From the Cardiovascular Research Institute, University of California, San Francisco.

Arch Intern Med. 1971;127(3):387-389. doi:10.1001/archinte.1971.00310150047004

Studies of surfactant content and lipid composition of the lungs of 11 vertebrate species have given some insight into architectural and mechanical problems in pulmonary function. They have not helped in understanding how the lung defends itself against the hostile environment and especially against oxygen.

As a part of studies of the functions of the pulmonary alveolar lining we have determined the surfactant content and lipid composition of the lungs in 11 vertebrate species and examined correlations with respiratory surface area. We have reported analyses of phospholipid components before,1 and our values agree in general with those of other workers who have made systematic comparisons.2,3 In this communication we present the results of neutral lipid assays and of some studies of acyl chain length and unsaturation in both neutral lipids and phospholipids.

We removed the lungs from the adult frog, turtle, chicken, rat, sea lion, dog, mouse, rabbit,