Epithelial injury and intra-alveolar fibrin are present in lung injury. To determine whether healthy fetal and neonatal lung epithelium could regulate thrombin activity (hence fibrin formation) we collected amniotic and postnatal endotracheal tube fluids from humans and directly sampled lung and amniotic fluids from fetal guinea piglets, rabbit pups, and lambs. The coagulant properties of the cell surface and media conditioned by rat fetal type II alveolar epithelium were assessed. All fluids contained glycosaminoglycans (GAGs), but mass and biological assays demonstrated only some (heparan sulfate and to a lesser extent dermatan sulfate) had antithrombin activity. The presence of proteoglycans (greater than 1,000 kDa) yielding active GAGs with less than 100 kDa after base elimination were demonstrated by Sepharose CL4B chromatography. Epithelial-derived fluids contained a factor VII-dependent procoagulant activity, but concentrated conditioned media overlying primary cultures of type II epithelium demonstrated a net antithrombin effect. These studies demonstrate that the lungs of human and nonprimate mammalian fetuses and fetal type II epithelium secrete GAGs, some of which possess antithrombin activity, which would oppose intra-alveolar fibrin formation.
View details for Web of Science ID A1991GK86700064
View details for PubMedID 1928360