Thyroid Hormone Influence upon Lung Surfactant Metabolism

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Science  03 Mar 1972:
Vol. 175, Issue 4025, pp. 994-996
DOI: 10.1126/science.175.4025.994


Thyroid administration and thyroidectomy in the rat profoundly affect the morphological characteristics of the type II pneumonocyte and the quantitative harvest of lung surfactant obtained from alveolar washings. The correlation of the ultrastructural changes with quantitative alterations in lung surfactant is evidence that the lamellar bodies within this cell are the source of the surface-active phospholipids utilized at the air-liquid interphase of lung alveoli. Our findings suggest that in the rat, L-thyroxine may be a potent regulator of lung surfactant metabolism.