Role of Sphingolipids in the Pathobiology of Lung Inflammation
Lungs of adult rats exposed to 85% oxygen undergo extensive cellular reorganization; therefore, to investigate changes in lipid metabolism the initial enzymes of glycerolipid and sphingolipid synthesis were measured in lung microsomes. After 1 week of O2 treatment, the specific activity of the glycerol 3-phosphate acyltransferase increased to nearly twice that of the controls and remained elevated for the 3 weeks of study. Serine palmitoyl-transferase activities were approximately the same for both groups. These results suggest that in addition to cellular proliferation caused by hyperoxia there are also selective changes in glycerolipid synthesis, which may explain the decreased sphingomyelin content of lung and lamellar bodies.