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Am J Physiol Lung Cell Mol Physiol. 2005 Oct;289(4):L617-26. Epub 2005 Jun 10.

Regulation of human pulmonary surfactant protein gene expression by 1alpha,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3.

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  • 1Dept. of Pediatrics, The University of Texas Health Science Center, Houston, TX 77030, USA.


1alpha,25-dihydroxyvitamin D(3) [1,25(OH)(2)D(3)] has been reported to stimulate lung maturity, alveolar type II cell differentiation, and pulmonary surfactant synthesis in rat lung. We hypothesized that 1,25(OH)(2)D(3) stimulates expression of surfactant protein-A (SP-A), SP-B, and SP-C in human fetal lung and type II cells. We found that immunoreactive vitamin D receptor was detectable in fetal lung tissue and type II cells only when incubated with 1,25(OH)(2)D(3). 1,25(OH)(2)D(3) significantly decreased SP-A mRNA in human fetal lung tissue but did not significantly decrease SP-A protein in the tissue. In type II cells, 1,25(OH)(2)D(3) alone had no significant effect on SP-A mRNA or protein levels but reduced SP-A mRNA and protein in a dose-dependent manner when the cells were incubated with cAMP. SP-A mRNA levels in NCI-H441 cells, a nonciliated bronchiolar epithelial (Clara) cell line, were decreased in a dose-dependent manner in the absence or presence of cAMP. 1,25(OH)(2)D(3) had no significant effect on SP-B mRNA levels in lung tissue but increased SP-B mRNA and protein levels in type II cells incubated in the absence or presence of cAMP. Expression of SP-C mRNA was unaffected by 1,25(OH)(2)D(3) in lung tissue incubated +/- cAMP. These results suggest that regulation of surfactant protein gene expression in human lung and type II cells by 1,25(OH)(2)D(3) is not coordinated; 1,25(OH)(2)D(3) decreases SP-A mRNA and protein levels in both fetal lung tissue and type II cells, increases SP-B mRNA and protein levels only in type II cells, and has no effect on SP-C mRNA levels.

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