Immunocytochemical Localization of Lysozyme and Surfactant Protein A in Rat Type II Cells and Extracellular Surfactant Forms

Document Type


Publication Date


Digital Object Identifier (DOI)



Using immunogold labeling of fixed, cryosubstituted tissue sections, we compared the distribution of lysozyme, an oxidant-sensitive lamellar body protein, with that of surfactant protein A (SP-A) in rat Type II cells, extracellular surfactant forms, and alveolar macrophages. Morphometric analysis of gold particle distribution revealed that lysozyme and SP-A were present throughout the secretory and endosomal pathways of Type II cells, with prominent localization of lysozyme in the peripheral compartment of lamellar bodies. All extracellular surfactant forms were labeled for both proteins with preferential labeling of tubular myelin and unilamellar vesicles. Labeling of tubular myelin for SP-A was striking when compared with that of lamellar bodies and other extracellular surfactant forms. Lamellar body-like forms and multilamellar structures were uniformly labeled for lysozyme, suggesting that this protein is rapidly redistributed within these forms after secretion of lysozyme-laden lamellar bodies. By contrast, increased labeling for SP-A was observed over peripheral membranes of lamellar body-like forms and multilamellar structures, apparently reflecting progressive SP-A enrichment of these membranes during tubular myelin formation. The results indicate that lysozyme is an integral component of the lamellar body peripheral compartment and secreted surfactant membranes, and support the concept that lysozyme may participate in the structural organization of lung surfactant.

Was this content written or created while at USF?


Citation / Publisher Attribution

Journal of Histochemistry & Cytochemistry, v. 40, issue 10, p. 1491-1500