Epidermal growth factor increases lung liquid clearance in rat lungs

Jacob I. Sznajder*, Karen M. Ridge, Donovan B. Yeates, John Ilekis, Walter Olivera

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


Epidermal growth factor (EGF) has been reported to stimulate the proliferation of epithelial cells and increase Na+ flux and Na+-K+-ATPase function in alveolar epithelial cell monolayers. Increases in Na+-K+- ATPase in alveolar type II cells (AT2) have been associated with increased active Na+ transport and lung edema clearance across the rat alveolar epithelium in a model of proliferative lung injury. Thus we tested whether administration of aerosolized EGF to rat lungs would increase active Na+ transport and lung liquid clearance. Sixteen adult Sprague-Dawley male rats were randomized to three groups. To a group of six rats, an aerosol generated from 20 μg of EGF in saline was delivered to the lungs, to a second group of five rats only aerosolized saline was delivered, and a third group of five rats without treatment served as the control. Forty-eight hours postaerosolization of rat lungs with EGF there was an ~40% increase in active Na+ transport and lung liquid clearance compared with control rats, in the absence of changes in 22Na+, [3H]mannitol, and albumin permeabilities. The Na+-K+-ATPase activity in AT2 cells harvested from these lungs was increased in rats that received aerosolized EGF compared with AT2 cells from both control rats and rats receiving aerosolized saline. These results support the hypothesis that in vivo delivery of EGF aerosols upregulates alveolar epithelial Na+-K+-ATPase and increases lung liquid clearance in rats.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1004-1010
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of applied physiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1998


  • Aerosolized drug delivery
  • Alveolar type II cells
  • Sodium transport
  • Sodium-potassium-3',5'-adenosinetriphosphatase

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology (medical)
  • Physiology


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