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COPD. 2011 Apr;8(2):79-95. doi: 10.3109/15412555.2011.558542.

Evaluation of full-length, cleaved and nitrosylated serum surfactant protein D as biomarkers for COPD.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, University of Cambridge, Cambridge Institute for Medical Research, Wellcome Trust/MRC Building, Cambridge, UK.


Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a multicomponent condition that is characterized by partially reversible airflow obstruction. Serum surfactant protein D (SP-D) is synthesized by type II pneumocytes and Clara cells and participates in surfactant homeostasis and pulmonary host defense. Serum levels of SP-D are raised in individuals with COPD but there is no correlation between the serum level of SP-D and the severity of airflow obstruction. Serum SP-D is present in different forms that may have more utility as a biomarker for COPD. We report here the development of new monoclonal antibodies to full length and cleaved SP-D. We have assessed these and existing antibodies in 98 individuals with COPD recruited to the Evaluation of COPD Longitudinally to Identify Predictive Surrogate Endpoints (ECLIPSE) cohort. Our data show that neither monoclonal antibodies to full length nor cleaved SP-D provide additional information over that obtained with a polyclonal antibody. Moreover, levels of serum nitrosylated-SP-D did not correlate with serum level of SP-D or any clinical phenotype of COPD. The measurement of modified SP-D is of limited value in characterising individuals with COPD.

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