Surfactant phospholipid composition of gastric aspirate samples differs between male and female very preterm infants

Foula Sozo, Noreen Ishak, Risha Bhatia, Peter G. Davis, Richard Harding

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BackgroundAmong preterm infants, males have a greater incidence of respiratory distress and death than do females born at the same gestational age, likely due to sex-related differences in lung maturation. Our aim was to determine whether surfactant phospholipid composition differs between male and female preterm infants.MethodsGastric aspirate samples from male and female infants born between 25 and 30 weeks of gestation at The Royal Women's Hospital, Melbourne, Australia, were collected within 1 h after birth. Phospholipid composition was analyzed by electrospray ionization tandem mass spectrometry.ResultsPreterm males had higher proportions of total phosphatidylinositol (PI) and phosphatidylserine 36:2, lower proportions of total sphingomyelin (S) and S 33:1 and 35:1, and a greater phosphatidylcholine (PC)/S ratio than did females. The proportions of PC 30:0, PC 34:0, PC 34:2, PC 36:2, PC 36:3, and PC 38:2 differed between the sexes at different gestational weeks of birth; the proportion of PC 32:0 (dipalmitoylphosphatidylcholine) in males was lower than that in females at 25 weeks of gestation but higher at 27 weeks.ConclusionPhospholipid composition in pulmonary surfactant is different between male and female preterm infants of the same gestational age, which may contribute to the increased risk for respiratory morbidities in one sex.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)839-849
Number of pages11
JournalPediatric Research
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2017

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