Surfactant protein-D (SP-D), a member of the "collectin" family, has been shown to play a role in innate immunity through modulation of inflammation and clearance of organisms. The role of SP-D in host defense against Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia was assessed using SP-D knockout (KO) mice. When inoculated with P. carinii, both wild-type (wt) and SP-D KO mice required CD4 cell depletion to develop infection. In CD4 cell-depleted models, 2 weeks after infection with P. carinii, SP-D KO mice developed increased intensity of infection, compared with wt mice, despite higher lung-inflammation scores and increased amounts of alveolar inflammatory cells. The increased inflammation seen in SP-D KO mice was accompanied by increases in lung weight, expression of inducible nitric oxide (NO) synthase, total NO levels, and 3-nitrotyrosine levels in lung tissue. These results indicate that SP-D plays a role in host defense against P. carinii in vivo by modulating clearance of organisms, lung inflammation, and metabolism of NO.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health