Surfactant protein D modulates allergen particle uptake and inflammatory response in a human epithelial airway model

Schleh, Carsten; Rothen-Rutishauser, Barbara M.; Blank, Fabian; Lauenstein, Hans D.; Nassimi, Matthias; Krug, Norbert; Braun, Armin; Erpenbeck, Veit J.; Gehr, Peter; Hohlfeld, Jens M. (2012). Surfactant protein D modulates allergen particle uptake and inflammatory response in a human epithelial airway model. Respiratory research, 13(8), p. 8. London: BioMed Central 10.1186/1465-9921-13-8

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Allergen-containing subpollen particles (SPP) are released from whole plant pollen upon contact with water or even high humidity. Because of their size SPP can preferentially reach the lower airways where they come into contact with surfactant protein (SP)-D. The aim of the present study was to investigate the influence of SP-D in a complex three-dimensional human epithelial airway model, which simulates the most important barrier functions of the epithelial airway. The uptake of SPP as well as the secretion of pro-inflammatory cytokines was investigated.

SPP were isolated from timothy grass and subsequently fluorescently labeled. A human epithelial airway model was built by using human Type II-pneumocyte like cells (A549 cells), human monocyte derived macrophages as well as human monocyte derived dendritic cells. The epithelial cell model was incubated with SPP in the presence and absence of surfactant protein D. Particle uptake was evaluated by confocal microscopy and advanced computer-controlled analysis. Finally, human primary CD4+ T-Cells were added to the epithelial airway model and soluble mediators were measured by enzyme linked immunosorbent assay or bead array.

SPP were taken up by epithelial cells, macrophages, and dendritic cells. This uptake coincided with secretion of pro-inflammatory cytokines and chemokines. SP-D modulated the uptake of SPP in a cell type specific way (e.g. increased number of macrophages and epithelial cells, which participated in allergen particle uptake) and led to a decreased secretion of pro-inflammatory cytokines.

These results display a possible mechanism of how SP-D can modulate the inflammatory response to inhaled allergen.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Gastro-intestinal, Liver and Lung Disorders (DMLL) > Clinic of Pneumology

UniBE Contributor:

Rothen-Rutishauser, Barbara, Blank, Fabian




BioMed Central




Factscience Import

Date Deposited:

04 Oct 2013 14:37

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 14:11

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URI: (FactScience: 222231)

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