The lung is constantly challenged during normal breathing by a myriad of environmental irritants and infectious insults. Pulmonary host defense mechanisms maintain homeostasis between inhibition/clearance of pathogens and regulation of inflammatory responses that could injure the airway epithelium. One component of this defense mechanism, surfactant protein-A (SP-A), exerts multifunctional roles in mediating host responses to inflammatory and infectious agents. SP-A has a bacteriostatic effect on Mycoplasma pneumoniae (Mp), which occurs by binding surface disaturated phosphatidylglycerols. SP-A can also bind the Mp membrane protein, MPN372. In this study, we investigated the role of SP-A during acute phase pulmonary infection with Mp using mice deficient in SP-A. Biologic responses, inflammation, and cellular infiltration, were much greater in Mp infected SP-A-/- mice than wild-type mice. Likewise, physiologic responses (airway hyperresponsiveness and lung compliance) to Mp infection were more severely affected in SP-A-/- mice. Both Mp-induced biologic and physiologic changes were attenuated by pharmacologic inhibition of TNF-α. Our findings demonstrate that SP-A is vital to preserving lung homeostasis and host defense to this clinically relevant strain of Mp by curtailing inflammatory cell recruitment and limiting an overzealous TNF-α response.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy