Our long-range goal is to increase knowledge of the neonatal development of the gas-exchange region of the lung. Our more immediate goal is to learn more about a lectin that is found in the lung of several species including rat and man. In rat lung, lectin activity peaks at the same time the lung is undergoing its period of intense postnatal alveolarization. We think the key issues and the importance of our work relates to the possibility that the lectin may play a critical role in lung alveolarization.
Our aim i n this proposal is to solidify (or exclude) the association of lectin and alveolarization. We plan to do this by 1) testing the association of lectin activity and alveolarization in two additional species (guinea pig for pre-natal and mouse for post-natal alveolarization), and 2) by experimentally altering the time of alveolarization in the rat. We further propose to study the temporal anatomical appearance of the lectin during the stage of alveolarization. Finally, we plan to study the mechanism by which the lectin rises during the period of alveolarization and examine factors that might modulate the change in lectin activity. We hope to achieve our goals using techniques of cell physiology and cell biology to understand this aspect of lung development. We think our studies will provide important information on the molecular and cellular basis of lung development and may provide a basis for understanding developmental defects of the lung.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)
Research Project (R01)
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Human Embryology and Development Subcommittee 2 (HED)
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University of Miami School of Medicine
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Whitney, P L; Starcher, B; Brittain, C (1992) Soluble beta-galactoside specific lectin is developmentally regulated in lungs of neonatal black mice and beige mice. Exp Lung Res 18:553-61
Iqbal, J; Whitney, P (1991) Use of cyanide and diethyldithiocarbamate in the assay of superoxide dismutases. Free Radic Biol Med 10:69-77
Clerch, L B; Whitney, P; Massaro, D (1989) Rat lung lectin gene expression is regulated developmentally and by dexamethasone. Am J Physiol 256:C501-5
Clerch, L B; Whitney, P; Hass, M et al. (1988) Sequence of a full-length cDNA for rat lung beta-galactoside-binding protein: primary and secondary structure of the lectin. Biochemistry 27:692-9
Clerch, L B; Whitney, P L; Massaro, D (1987) Rat lung lectin synthesis, degradation and activation. Developmental regulation and modulation by dexamethasone. Biochem J 245:683-90
Whitney, P L; Powell, J T; Sanford, G L (1986) Oxidation and chemical modification of lung beta-galactoside-specific lectin. Biochem J 238:683-9
Whitney, P; Maxwell, S; Ryan, U et al. (1985) Synthesis and binding of lactose-specific lectin by isolated lung cells. Am J Physiol 248:C258-64