Surface active substances in the Chinchilla tubotympanum: A biochemical study

James M. Coticchia, Frederick A. Heiselman, Raouf Gharbo, Thomas F. Demaria, David J. Lim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


It has been demonstrated that the eustachian tube and middle ear epithelium produce Tubal Surface Active Substances (TSAS), which facilitate the opening of the eustachian tube. In order to characterize the biochemical contents of chinchilla TSAS, the tubal washings were analyzed using 2-D thin layer chromatography. The results indicate that phosphatidylcholine was the predominant phospholipid, followed by sphingomyelin, phosphatidylinositol phosphatidyl-ethanolamine, and phosphatidylserine. In comparison, pulmonary lavage showed phosphatidylcholine to be highest allowed by phosphatidylethanolamine and sphingomyelin. Phosphatidyl-choline/phosphatidylethanolanim ratios were 5:1 in the tubal lavage, and 8:1 in the pulmonary lavage. Phosphatidylcholine/sphingomyelin ratios were 2:1 in the tubal lavage, and 67:1 in the pulmonary lavage. It is concluded that the biochemical content of TSAS is similar but not identical to that of pulmonary surfactants.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1097-1104
Number of pages8
JournalActa Oto-Laryngologica
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1991


  • Eustachian lube
  • Lung
  • Phospholipids
  • Surface active substances
  • Surfactant
  • Thin layer chromalography
  • Trachea
  • Tubotympanum

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology


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