Effect of Cholesterol on Electrostatics in Lipid-Protein Films of a Pulmonary Surfactant

TitleEffect of Cholesterol on Electrostatics in Lipid-Protein Films of a Pulmonary Surfactant
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2010
AuthorsFinot, E., Y. Leonenko, B. Moores, L. Eng, M. Amrein, and Z. Leonenko
Start Page1929
Date Published02/2010

We report the changes in the electrical properties of the lipid-protein film of pulmonary surfactant produced by excess cholesterol. Pulmonary surfactant (PS) is a complex lipid-protein mixture that forms a molecular film at the interface of the lung’s epithelia. The defined molecular arrangement of the lipids and proteins of the surfactant film gives rise to the locally highly variable electrical surface potential of the interface, which becomes considerably altered in the presence of cholesterol. With frequency modulation Kelvin probe force microscopy (FM-KPFM) and force measurements, complemented by theoretical analysis, we showed that excess cholesterol significantly changes the electric field around a PS film because of the presence of nanometer-sized electrostatic domains and affects the electrostatic interaction of an AFM probe with a PS film. These changes in the local electrical field would greatly alter the interaction of the surfactant film with charged species and would immediately impact the manner in which inhaled (often charged) airborne nanoparticles and fibers might interact with the lung interface.

Refereed DesignationRefereed
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