Increased surfactant protein D fails to improve bacterial clearance and inflammation in serpinB1-/- mice

J. Michael Stolley, Dapeng Gong, Kalamo Farley, Picheng Zhao, Jessica Cooley, Erika C. Crouch, Charaf Benarafa, Eileen Remold-O'Donnell

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5 Scopus citations


Previously, we described the protective role of the neutrophil serine protease inhibitor serpinB1 in preventing early mortality of Pseudomonas aeruginosa lung infection by fostering bacterial clearance and limiting inflammatory cytokines and proteolytic damage. Surfactant protein D (SP-D), which maintains the antiinflammatory pulmonary environment and mediates bacterial removal, was degraded in infected serpinB1-deficient mice. Based on the hypothesis that increased SP-D would rescue or mitigate the pathological effects of serpinB1 deletion, we generated two serpinB1-/- lines overexpressing lung-specific rat SP-D and inoculated the mice with P. aeruginosa. Contrary to predictions, bacterial counts in the lungs of SP-D lowserpinB1-/- and SP-Dhigh serpinB1 -/- mice were 4 logs higher than wild-type and not different from serpinB1-/- mice. SP-D overexpression also failed to mitigate inflammation (TNF-α), lung injury (free protein, albumin), or excess neutrophil death (free myeloperoxidase, elastase). These pathological markers were higher for infected SP-DhighserpinB1-/- mice than for serpinB1-/- mice, although the differences were not significant after controlling for multiple comparisons. The failure of transgenic SP-D to rescue antibacterial defense of serpinB1-deficient mice occurred despite 5-fold or 20-fold increased expression levels, largely normal structure, and dose-dependent bacteria-aggregating activity. SP-D of infected wild-type mice was intact in 43-kD monomers by reducing SDS-PAGE. By contrast, proteolytic fragments of 35, 17, and 8 kD were found in infected SP-Dlow serpinB1-/-, SP-Dhigh serpinB1-/- mice, and serpinB1-/- mice. Thus, although therapies to increase lung concentration of SP-D may have beneficial applications, the findings suggest that therapy with SP-D may not be beneficial for lung inflammation or infection if the underlying clinical condition includes excess proteolysis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)792-799
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican Journal of Respiratory Cell and Molecular Biology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2012


  • Inflammation
  • Lung infection
  • Proteolysis
  • SerpinB1
  • Surfactant protein D


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