Surfactant protein C (SP-C) is deemed as the surfactant protein most specifically expressed in type II alveolar epithelial cells and plays an important role in surfactant function. SP-C turnover in humans and its meaning in the clinical context have never been approached. In this study, we used mass spectrometry to investigate SP-C turnover in humans. We studied four infants and eight adults requiring mechanical ventilation. All patients had no lung disease. Patients received a 24-h continuous infusion of (13)C-leucine as precursor of SP-C, and serial tracheal aspirates and plasma samples were obtained every 6 h till 48 h. SP-C was isolated from tracheal aspirates by sorbent-phase chromatography. (13)C-leucine SP-C enrichment could be successfully measured in three infant and in four adult samples by using mass spectrometry coupled with a gas chromatographer. Median SP-C fractional synthesis rate, secretion time, and peak time were 15.7 (14.1-27.5)%/day, 6.0 (4.7-11.5) h, and 24 (20-27) h. In conclusion, this study shows that it is feasible to accurately determine SP-C turnover in humans by stable isotopes.
Surfactant protein C metabolism in human infants and adult patients by stable isotope tracer and mass spectrometry / Simonato, Manuela; Baritussio, Aldo; Pioselli, Barbara; Ori, Carlo; Catinella, Silvia; Carnielli, Virgilio; Cogo, Paola E.. - In: ANALYTICAL AND BIOANALYTICAL CHEMISTRY. - ISSN 1618-2650. - STAMPA. - 406:25(2014), pp. 6225-6233. [10.1007/s00216-014-8014-2]