Distinct effects of oxygen on surfactant protein B expression in bronchiolar and alveolar epithelium

K. A. Wikenheiser, S. E. Wert, J. R. Wispe, M. Stahlman, M. D'Amore-Bruno, G. Singh, S. L. Katyal, J. A. Whitsett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

62 Scopus citations


Hyperoxia causes severe lung injury in association with altered expression of surfactant proteins and lipids. To test whether oxygen induces surfactant protein B (SP-B) expression in specific respiratory epithelial cells, adult B6C3F1 and FVB/N mice were exposed to room air or 95% oxygen for 1-5 days. Northern blot analysis demonstrated an 8- to 10-fold increase in SP-B mRNA after 3 days that was maintained thereafter. In situ hybridization localized SP-B mRNA to bronchial, bronchiolar, and alveolar epithelial cells. Hyperoxia was associated with increased SP-B mRNA, noted primarily in the bronchiolar epithelium and decreased SP-B mRNA in the alveolar epithelium. After 5 days, central regions of lung parenchyma were nearly devoid of SP-B mRNA, while SP-B mRNA was maintained in alveolar cell populations close to vascular structures. To determine whether increased bronchiolar expression of SP-B mRNA during hyperoxia was a specific response, the abundance of CC10 mRNA (a Clara cell protein) was assessed. CC10 mRNA was detected in tracheal, bronchial, and bronchiolar, but not alveolar epithelium and was decreased upon exposure to hyperoxia. Immunocytochemistry demonstrated that SP-B proprotein was detected in bronchial, bronchiolar, and alveolar epithelial cells with staining increased in the bronchial and bronchiolar epithelium upon exposure to hyperoxia. SP-B gene expression in the respiratory epithelium is regulated at a pretranslational level and occurs in a cell specific manner during hyperoxic injury in the mouse.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)L32-L39
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Lung Cellular and Molecular Physiology
Issue number1 6-1
StatePublished - Jan 1 1992
Externally publishedYes


  • Gene expression
  • Hyperoxia
  • Lung injury

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)
  • Cell Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'Distinct effects of oxygen on surfactant protein B expression in bronchiolar and alveolar epithelium'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this