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Cell Tissue Res. 2012 Dec;350(3):455-64. doi: 10.1007/s00441-012-1490-9. Epub 2012 Sep 18.

Differential localisation of BPIFA1 (SPLUNC1) and BPIFB1 (LPLUNC1) in the nasal and oral cavities of mice.

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Academic Unit of Respiratory Medicine, Department of Infection and Immunity, University of Sheffield, UK.


Despite being initially identified in mice, little is known about the sites of production of members of the BPI fold (BPIF) containing (PLUNC) family of putative innate defence proteins in this species. These proteins have largely been considered to be specificaly expressed in the respiratory tract, and we have recently shown that they exhibit differential expression in the epithelium of the proximal airways. In this study, we have used species-specific antibodies to systematically localize two members of this protein family; BPIFA1 (PLUNC/SPLUNC1) and BPIFB1 (LPLUNC1) in adult mice. In general, these proteins exhibit distinct and only partially overlapping localization. BPIFA1 is highly expressed in the respiratory epithelium and Bowman's glands of the nasal passages, whereas BPIFB1 is present in small subset of goblet cells in the nasal passage and pharynx. BPIFB1 is also present in the serous glands in the proximal tongue where is co-localised with the salivary gland specific family member, BPIFA2E (parotid secretory protein) and also in glands of the soft palate. Both proteins exhibit limited expression outside of these regions. These results are consistent with the localization of the proteins seen in man. Knowledge of the complex expression patterns of BPIF proteins in these regions will allow the use of tractable mouse models of disease to dissect their function.

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