Review: Collectins link innate and adaptive immunity in allergic airway disease.
Although the lipoprotein complex of pulmonary surfactant has long been recognized as essential for reducing lung surface tension, its role in lung immune host defense has only relatively recently been elucidated. Surfactant-associated proteins A (SP-A) and D (SP-D) can attenuate bacterial and viral infection and inflammation by acting as opsonins and by regulating innate immune cell functions. Surfactant-associated protein A and D also interact with antigen-presenting cells and T cells, thereby linking the innate and adaptive immune systems. A recent study from our laboratory demonstrated that mice deficient in SP-A have enhanced susceptibility to airway hyper-responsiveness and lung inflammation induced by Mycoplasma pneumonia, an atypical bacterium present in the airways of approximately 50% of asthmatics experiencing their first episode, and further supports an important role for SP-A in the host response to allergic airway disease. Animal and human studies suggest that alterations in the functions or levels of SP-A and SP-D are associated with both infectious and non-infectious chronic lung diseases such as asthma. Future studies are needed to elucidate whether alterations in SP-A and SP-D are a consequence and/or cause of allergic airway disease.
Ledford, JG; Pastva, AM; Wright, JR
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