Lung surfactant protein D (SP-D) response and regulation during acute and chronic lung injury

Maria Quisgaard Gaunsbaek, Karina Juhl Rasmussen, Michael F. Beers, Elena N. Atochina-Vasserman, Soren Hansen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Surfactant protein D (SP-D) is a collection that plays important roles in modulating host defense functions and maintaining phospholipid homeostasis in the lung. The aim of current study was to characterize comparatively the SP-D response in bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) and serum in three murine models of lung injury, using a validated ELISA technology for estimation of SP-D levels. Methods: Mice were exposed to lipopolysaccharide, bleomycin, or Pneumocystis carinii (Pc) and sacrificed at different time points. Results: In lipopolysaccharide-challenged mice, the level of SP-D in BAL increased within 6 h, peaked at 51 h (4,518 ng/ml), and returned to base level at 99 h (612 ng/ml). Serum levels of SP-D increased immediately (8.6 ng/ml), peaked at 51 h (16 ng/ml), and returned to base levels at 99 h (3.8 ng/ml). In a subacute bleomycin inflammation model, SP-D levels were 4,625 and 367 ng/ml in BAL and serum, respectively, 8 days after exposure. In a chronic Pc inflammation model, the highest level of SP-D was observed 6 weeks after inoculation, with BAL and serum levels of 1,868 and 335 ng/ml, respectively. Conclusions: We conclude that serum levels of SP-D increase during lung injury, with a sustained increment during chronic inflammation compared with acute inflammation. A quick upregulation of SP-D in serum in response to acute airway inflammation supports the notion that SP-D translocates from the airways into the vascular system, in favor of being synthesized systemically. The study also confirms the concept of using increased SP-D serum levels as a biomarker of especially chronic airway inflammation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)295-303
Number of pages9
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Bleomycin
  • Bronchoalveolar lavage
  • Lipopolysaccharide
  • Lung injury
  • Pneumocystis carinii
  • Surfactant protein D

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine

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