Metabolic precursors of surfactant disaturated-phosphatidylcholine in preterms with respiratory distress

Paola E. Cogo*, Carlo Ori, Manuela Simonato, Giovanna Verlato, Ilena Isak, Aaron Hamvas, Virgilio P. Carnielli

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Our objective was to study the metabolic precursors of surfactant disaturated-phosphatidylcholine (DSPC) in preterm infants with respiratory distress syndrome (RDS) on mechanical ventilation. We performed 46 DSPC kinetic studies in 23 preterms on fat-free parenteral nutrition and mechanical ventilation (birth weight = 1167 ± 451 g, gestational age = 28.5 ± 2.0 weeks). Eight infants received a simultaneous intravenous infusion of U13 C-glucose and [16,16,16]2H-palmitate, eight infants received U13C-glucose and 2H2O, and seven received U13C-palmitate and 2H2O. Surfactant DSPC kinetics were calculated from the isotopic enrichments of DSPC-palmitate from sequential tracheal aspirates and its metabolic precursors in plasma or urine. DSPC fractional synthesis rate (FSR) was 17 ± 11, 21 ± 16, and 15 ± 6%/day from glucose, palmitate, and body water, respectively (P = 0.36). DSPC-FSR from U13 C-glucose and 2H2O were significantly correlated and yielded similar estimates (difference of -0.1 ± 3%) (P = 0.91). The difference in the 15 infants receiving palmitate versus 2H2O or palmitate versus glucose was +6.0 ± 12%/day (P = 0.21). There was a significant correlation between DSPC-FSRs from plasma glucose and plasma FFA. The contribution of glucose versus palmitate to DSPC-FSR was 49 ± 20% versus 51 ± 20%, respectively. Plasma glucose and FFA showed similar contributions to DSPC-FSR in infants with RDS and fat-free parenteral nutrition. FSRs from 2H2O or glucose were highly correlated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2324-2331
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of lipid research
Issue number11
StatePublished - 2009


  • Disaturated
  • Isotope labeling
  • Isotopes
  • Lecithins
  • Metabolic pathways
  • Pulmonary surfactant

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology
  • Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology


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