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Mol Immunol. 2010 Jun;47(10):1923-30. doi: 10.1016/j.molimm.2010.02.027. Epub 2010 Apr 21.

Susceptibility of mice genetically deficient in SP-A or SP-D gene to invasive pulmonary aspergillosis.

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  • 1Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology, Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, Delhi University Campus, Mall Road, Delhi 110007, India.


Pulmonary surfactant proteins, SP-A and SP-D, are carbohydrate pattern recognition molecules of innate immunity, which significantly enhance phagocytosis and killing of Aspergillus fumigatus, a pathogenic fungus, by neutrophils and macrophages. The present study examined the susceptibility of immunosuppressed SP-A gene deficient (SP-A(-/-)) or SP-D gene deficient (SP-D(-/-)) mice to A. fumigatus conidia challenge compared to wild-type (WT) mice. A. fumigatus-challenged SP-A(-/-) (SP-A(-/-) IPA) mice showed less mortality (40%) than the WT-IPA mice (100%) and increased mortality (60%) following administration of SP-A with decreased TNF-alpha and IFN-gamma to IL-4 ratio than SP-A(-/-) IPA mice. The SP-D(-/-) IPA mice (57.14%) showed similar mortality as WT-IPA mice (60%). However, the SP-D (-/-) IPA mice (42.86% mortality on day 2) died earlier than the WT-IPA mice (20% mortality on day 2), showed a higher hyphal density and tissue injury in lungs. Treatment with SP-D or a recombinant fragment of human SP-D rhSP-D reduced the mortality to 50% and 33%, respectively, concomitant with higher IFN-gamma to IL-4 ratios in treated SP-D(-/-) mice, compared to untreated control group. The results showed that SP-D gene deficient mice are more susceptible to IPA while SP-A gene deficient mice acquire resistance to IPA.

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