The lung collectins, SP-A and SP-D, are important components of the innate immune response to microbial challenge and participate in other aspects of immune and inflammatory regulation within the lung. Both proteins bind to surface structures expressed by a wide variety of microorganisms and have the capacity to modulate multiple leukocyte functions, including the enhanced internalization and killing of certain microorganisms in vitro. In addition, transgenic mice with deficiencies in SP-A and SP-D show defective or altered responses to challenge with bacterial, fungal, and viral microorganisms and to bacterial lipopolysaccharides in vivo. Thus collectins could play particularly important roles in settings of inadequate or impaired specific immunity, and acquired alterations in the levels of active collectins within the airspaces and distal airways may increase susceptibility to infection.
- C-type lectin
- Pulmonary surfactant