Many special solutions have been developed to protect the ischemic lung in preparation for transplantation. To determine an effective solution, we isolated pulmonary alveolar type II cells from rat lungs. These cells play an important role in sodium transport and the production of surfactant; thus, they are crucial to the respiratory physiology of the lung. In this study, we examined in vitro the effect of various solutions such as Collins' solution, Collins-Sacks solution, and glucose-insulin-potassium solution on alveolar type II cell viability. The cell viability was examined with a trypan blue dye exclusion test and [3H]thymidine uptake proliferation assay after 24 and 72 hours of incubation. The alveolar type II cells in the glucose-insulin-potassium solution had greater viability compared with cells cultured in either Collins' or Collins-Sacks solution. This study demonstrates that glucose-insulin-potassium solution has the least toxic effect on isolated alveolar type II cells compared with other preserving solutions.