, Volume 57, Issue 3, pp 118-125
Date: 28 Mar 2008

Immunosuppressive properties of surfactant in alveolar macrophage NR8383

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To evaluate the anti-inflammatory effects of exogenous surfactants and surfactant phospholipid without surfactant proteins (SP-A and SP-D) on the lipopolysaccharide- (LPS) stimulated rat alveolar macrophage (AM) cell line NR8383.


Exogenous surfactants (beractant, calfactant or colfosceril) and surfactant phospholipid (dipalmitoyl phosphatidylcholine, DPPC), standardized to phospholipid content of 25–1,000 μg/ml were incubated with LPS- (1 μg/ml) stimulated NR8383 AMs.


TNF-α and IL-1β secretion and nitric oxide (NO) formation following LPS stimulation were inhibited by treatment with surfactants or DPPC. Furthermore, LPS-dependent NO production and iNOS protein levels were significantly suppressed in cells pretreated for one hour with beractant compared to beractant added simultaneously with or following LPS. Additionally, LPS-stimulated oxidative burst, measured by flow cytometry, was significantly decreased by beractant. Finally, beractant inhibited the translocation of NF-κB from cytoplasmic into nuclear extract in LPS-stimulated NR8383 AMs.


Exogenous surfactants and surfactant phospholipid inhibit secretion of proinflammatory cytokines and NO in NR8383 AMs. The inhibitory effects of beractant on oxygen radical and LPS-induced NO formation may result from unique mechanisms of decreasing cell signaling. The anti-inflammatory activity of surfactant products used in the treatment of neonatal respiratory distress syndrome (RDS) may depend upon the specific preparation or dose used.

Received 28 December 2006; returned for revision 4 July 2007; accepted by S. Stimpson 29 October 2007