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Am J Physiol Lung Cell Mol Physiol. 2007 May;292(5):L1052-63. Epub 2006 Dec 22.

Characterization of a human surfactant protein A1 (SP-A1) gene-specific antibody; SP-A1 content variation among individuals of varying age and pulmonary health.

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


The human surfactant protein A (SP-A) locus consists of two functional genes (SP-A1, SP-A2) with gene-specific products exhibiting qualitative and quantitative differences. The aim here was twofold: 1) generate SP-A1 gene-specific antibody, and 2) use this to assess gene-specific SP-A content in the bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF). An SP-A1-specific polyclonal antibody (hSP-A1_Ab(68-88)_Col) was raised in chicken, and its specificity was determined by immunoblot and ELISA using mammalian Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cell-expressed SP-A1 and SP-A2 variants and by immunofluorescence with stably transfected CHO cell lines expressing SP-A1 or SP-A2 variants. SP-A1 content was evaluated according to age and lung status. A gradual decrease (P < 0.05) in SP-A1/SP-A ratio was observed in healthy subjects (HS) with increased age, although no significant change was observed in total SP-A content among age groups. Total SP-A and SP-A1 content differed significantly between alveolar proteinosis (AP) patients and HS, with no significant difference observed in SP-A1/SP-A ratio between AP and HS. The cystic fibrosis (CF) ratio was significantly higher compared with AP, HS, and noncystic fibrosis (NCF), even though SP-A1 and total SP-A were decreased in CF compared with most of the other groups. The ratio was higher in culture-positive vs. culture-negative samples from CF and NCF (P = 0.031). A trend of an increased ratio was observed in culture-positive CF (0.590 +/- 0.10) compared with culture-positive NCF (0.368 +/- 0.085). In summary, we developed and characterized an SP-A1 gene-specific antibody and used it to identify gene-specific SP-A content in BALFs as a function of age and lung health.

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