It has become increasingly evident that pulmonary surfactant proteins, SP-A and SP-D, present in the alveolar and bronchial epithelial fluid linings, not only play significant functions in the innate defense mechanism against pathogens, but also are involved in immunomodulatory roles, which result in the protection against, and resolution of, allergen-induced airway inflammation. Studies on allergen-sensitized murine models, and asthmatic patients, show that SP-A and SP-D can: specifically bind to aero-allergens; inhibit mast cell degranulation and histamine release; and modulate the activation of alveolar macrophages and dendritic cells during the acute hypersensitive phase of allergic response. They also can alleviate chronic allergic inflammation by inhibiting T-lymphocyte proliferation as well as increasing phagocytosis of DNA fragments and clearance of apoptotic cell debris. Furthermore, it has emerged, from the studies on SP-D-deficient mice, that, when these mice are challenged with allergen, they develop increased eosinophil infiltration, and abnormal activation of lymphocytes, leading to the production of Th2 cytokines. Intranasal administration of SP-D significantly attenuated the asthmatic-like symptoms seen in allergen-sensitized wild-type, and SP-D-deficient, mice. These important findings provide a new insight of the role that surfactant proteins play in handling environmental stimuli and in their immunoregulation of airway inflammatory disease.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Immunology and Allergy