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A Combination of the Aerosolized PPAR-γ Agonist Pioglitazone and a Synthetic Surfactant Protein B Peptide Mimic Prevents Hyperoxia-Induced Neonatal Lung Injury in Rats.

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BACKGROUND:Despite improvements in perinatal care, bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) in extremely premature infants has not decreased. Postnatal surfactant therapy provides symptomatic relief from respiratory distress syndrome, but does not translate into a reduction in BPD. Therefore, the search for effective interventions to prevent BPD continues. OBJECTIVES:Since PPAR-γ agonists have been demonstrated to promote neonatal lung maturation and injury repair, we hypothesized that a formulation of a PPAR-γ agonist, pioglitazone (PGZ) and a synthetic lung surfactant (a surfactant protein B peptide mimic, B-YL) combined would stimulate lung maturation and block hyperoxia-induced neonatal lung injury more effectively than either modality alone. METHODS:One-day-old Sprague-Dawley rat pups were administered PGZ + B-YL via nebulization every 24 h for up to 72 h. The pups were exposed to either 21 or 95% O2, and then sacrificed. Their lungs were examined for markers of lung maturation (levels of PPAR-γ, SP-C and choline-phosphate cytidylyltransferase [CCT-α] and [3H]triolein uptake) and injury repair (bronchoalveolar lavage cell count and protein content, and levels of LEF-1, fibronectin, ALK5, and β-catenin) by Western blot analysis. RESULTS:Markers of alveolar epithelial/mesenchymal maturation (PPAR-γ, SP-C, CCT-α, and triolein uptake) increased significantly in the PGZ + B-YL group, more than with either drug alone. Similarly, markers of hyperoxia-induced lung injury were blocked effectively with PGZ + B-YL treatment. CONCLUSIONS:Nebulized PPAR-γ agonist PGZ with a synthetic lung surfactant accelerates lung maturation and prevents neonatal hyperoxia-induced lung injury more than either modality alone, with the potential to provide more effective prevention of BPD.

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