Beneficial effects of synthetic KL₄ surfactant in experimental lung transplantation.

Research paper by A A Sáenz, L L Alvarez, M M Santos, A A López-Sánchez, J L JL Castillo-Olivares, A A Varela, R R Segal, C C Casals

Indexed on: 24 Jul '10Published on: 24 Jul '10Published in: European Respiratory Journal


The aim of this study was to investigate whether intratracheal administration of a new synthetic surfactant that includes the cationic, hydrophobic 21-residue peptide KLLLLKLLLLKLLLLKLLLLK (KL₄), might be effective in reducing ischaemia-reperfusion injury after lung transplantation. Single left lung transplantation was performed in Landrace pigs 22 h post-harvest. KL₄ surfactant at a dose of 25 mg total phospholipid·kg body weight⁻¹ (2.5 mL·kg body weight⁻¹) was instilled at 37°C to the donor left lung (n = 8) prior to explantation. Saline (2.5 mL·kg body weight⁻¹; 37°C) was instilled into the donor left lung of the untreated group (n = 6). Lung function in recipients was measured during 2 h of reperfusion. Recipient left lung bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) provided native cytometric, inflammatory marker and surfactant data. KL(4) surfactant treatment recovered oxygen levels in the recipient blood (mean ± sd arterial oxygen tension/inspiratory oxygen fraction 424 ± 60 versus 263 ± 101 mmHg in untreated group; p=0.01) and normalised alveolar-arterial oxygen tension difference. Surfactant biophysical function was also recovered in KL₄ surfactant-treated lungs. This was associated with decreased C-reactive protein levels in BAL, and recovery of surfactant protein A content, normalised protein/phospholipid ratios, and lower levels of both lipid peroxides and protein carbonyls in large surfactant aggregates. These findings suggest an important protective role for KL₄ surfactant treatment in lung transplantation.