The response of the pulmonary surfactant-associated alkaline phosphatase following acute cadmium chloride inhalation

Am Ind Hyg Assoc J. 1989 Jul;50(7):331-5. doi: 10.1080/15298668991374769.


In order to identify sensitive and specific biochemical indicators of pulmonary damages caused by industrial contaminants, male Long-Evans rats were exposed to a cadmium chloride (CdCl2) aerosol (5 mg Cd/m3; MMAD = 1.4 microns; SDg = 1.8) for 1 hr. The rats were sacrificed at 1, 4, 8, and 16 days after treatment. The response of the pulmonary surfactant (SF) system, which prevents alveolar collapse during expiration by lowering the surface tension at the air-liquid interface, was of particular interest. The effect of CdCl2 inhalation on the SF system was monitored by assaying the alkaline phosphatase (AKP) activity and phospholipid (PL) content in an enriched surface active SF fraction purified from bronchoalveolar lavages. The AKP activity of the SF fraction was markedly decreased (99%) on Day 1, indicating an inhibition of AKP by Cd. The PL content remained at control level while the total protein content was significantly increased (199%). On day 4, the high recovery of PL (207%) and AKP activities (639%) may reflect an increased secretion caused by Type II cell hyperplasia. By Day 8 these parameters returned to baseline levels. On Day 16 both the AKP activity and the PL content of the SF fraction were decreased significantly. Concurrently, the activities of the acid phosphatase and the B-N-acetylglucosaminidase followed, but to a lesser extent, the response of the AKP activity on Days 1 and 4. They differed from AKP, however, in that their activities remained significantly elevated on Day 8 and in that they returned to baseline levels on Day 16.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acetylglucosaminidase / metabolism
  • Acid Phosphatase / metabolism
  • Administration, Inhalation
  • Alkaline Phosphatase / metabolism*
  • Animals
  • Cadmium / toxicity*
  • Cadmium Chloride
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Male
  • Phospholipids / metabolism
  • Pulmonary Surfactants / metabolism*
  • Rats


  • Phospholipids
  • Pulmonary Surfactants
  • Cadmium
  • Alkaline Phosphatase
  • Acid Phosphatase
  • Acetylglucosaminidase
  • Cadmium Chloride