Phosphatidylcholine Synthesis by Peritoneal Mesothelium: Its Implications for Peritoneal Dialysis

James W. Dobbie, Thomas Pavlina, John Lloyd, Robert C. Johnson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


This study investigated the possibility that the peritoneum is capable of synthesizing phosphatidylcholine (PC), a lubricant surfactant, in an amount similar to that produced by pulmonary alveoli. The synthesis of PC by rat lung (positive control), liver (negative control), and transparent mesentery (test tissue) was determined by in vitro incubation of these tissues in the presence of (methyl-14C) choline chloride for three hours at 37°C in Warburg flasks. All lipid material present in tissue and incubation media was extracted by the Folch technique. Carrier egg PC was added to each sample and total PC was isolated using high performance thin-layer chromatography. The PC fractions were counted for total radioactivity. No statistically significant difference was observed between the mean radioactive value for mesenteric tissue compared with lung tissue. The mean radioactive value for liver when compared with mesenteric and lung tissue was significantly lower (P < 0.001). Thus, under the conditions of the experiment, we have demonstrated for the first time that peritoneal tissue is capable of synthesizing PC in amounts similar to that produced by the lung. Electron microscopy of transparent mesentery (test tissue) showed that mesothelium constituted the bulk of the cell population. Therefore, it is most likely that the PC that has been detected in peritoneal fluid is produced by the mesothelial cell. These findings are of significant relevance to developing concepts on the role of surfactant phospholipids in the physiology of peritoneal dialysis. Index Words

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)31-36
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Kidney Diseases
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1988
Externally publishedYes


  • peritoneal dialysis
  • peritoneal mesothelium
  • Phosphatidylcholine synthesis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nephrology


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