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Pulmonary surfactant protein-D (SP-D) is a multifunctional, pattern recognition molecule involved in resistance to allergen challenge and pulmonary inflammation. In view of therapeutic effects of exogenous SP-D or recombinant fragment of human surfactant protein-D (rhSP-D) (composed of eight Gly-X-Y collagen repeat sequences, homotrimeric neck and lectin domains) in murine models of lung allergy and hypereosinophilic SP-D gene-deficient mice, we investigated the possibility of a direct interaction of purified rhSP-D with human eosinophils derived from allergic patients and healthy donors. rhSP-D showed a sugar- and calcium-dependent binding to human eosinophils, suggesting involvement of its carbohydrate recognition domain. While eosinophils from allergic patients showed a significant increase in apoptosis, oxidative burst and CD69 expression in presence of rhSP-D, eosinophils from healthy donors showed no significant change. However, these eosinophils from healthy donors when primed with IL-5 exhibited increase in apoptosis on incubation with rhSP-D. Apoptosis mediated by rhSP-D in primed eosinophils was not affected by the antioxidant, N-acetyl-L-cysteine. There was a manifold increase in binding of rhSP-D to apoptotic eosinophils than the normal eosinophils and rhSP-D induced a significant increase in uptake of apoptotic eosinophils by J774A.1 macrophage cells. The study suggests that rhSP-D mediated preferential increase of apoptosis of primed eosinophils while not affecting the normal eosinophils and increased phagocytosis of apoptotic eosinophils may be important mechanisms of rhSP-D and plausibly SP-D-mediated resolution of allergic eosinophilic inflammation in vivo.

Original publication




Journal article


Int Immunol

Publication Date





993 - 1007


Adult, Antigens, CD, Antigens, Differentiation, T-Lymphocyte, Apoptosis, Asthma, Cell Line, Tumor, Eosinophils, Escherichia coli, Female, Humans, Lectins, C-Type, Macrophages, Male, Phagocytosis, Pulmonary Surfactant-Associated Protein D, Recombinant Proteins, Up-Regulation