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Am J Physiol Lung Cell Mol Physiol. 2005 Jan;288(1):L150-8. Epub 2004 Sep 17.

SP-A1 and SP-A2 variants differentially enhance association of Pseudomonas aeruginosa with rat alveolar macrophages.

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  • 1Dept. of Cellular and Molecular Physiology, The Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine, Hershey, PA 17033, USA.


Chronic airway inflammation caused by Pseudomonas aeruginosa is an important feature of cystic fibrosis (CF). Surfactant protein A (SP-A) enhances phagocytosis of P. aeruginosa. Two genes, SP-A1 and SP-A2, encode human SP-A. We hypothesized that genetically determined differences in the activity of SP-A1 and SP-A2 gene products exist. To test this, we studied association of a nonmucoid P. aeruginosa strain (ATCC 39018) with rat alveolar macrophages in the presence or absence of insect cell-expressed human SP-A variants. We used two trios, each consisting of SP-A1, SP-A2, and their coexpressed SP-A1/SP-A2 variants. We tested the 6A(2) and 6A(4) alleles (for SP-A1), the 1A(0) and 1A alleles (for SP-A2), and their respective coexpressed SP-A1/SP-A2 gene products. After incubation of alveolar macrophages with P. aeruginosa in the presence of the SP-A variants at 37 degrees C for 1 h, the cell association of bacteria was assessed by light microscopy analysis. We found 1) depending on SP-A concentration and variant, SP-A2 variants significantly increased the cell association more than the SP-A1 variants (the phagocytic index for SP-A1 was approximately 52-95% of the SP-A2 activity); 2) coexpressed variants at certain concentrations were more active than single gene products; and 3) the phagocytic index for SP-A variants was approximately 18-41% of the human SP-A from bronchoalveolar lavage. We conclude that human SP-A variants in vitro enhance association of P. aeruginosa with rat alveolar macrophages differentially and in a concentration-dependent manner, with SP-A2 variants having a higher activity compared with SP-A1 variants.

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