Role of surfactant protein A in the innate host defense and autoimmunity

Autoimmunity. 2004 Mar;37(2):125-30. doi: 10.1080/0891693042000196192.


Surfactant protein A (SP-A) is a lung collectin with diverse immunoregulatory activities. SP-A regulates the innate host defense by enhancing phagocytosis of pathogens and modulating the production of nitric oxide and cytokines by immune cells. Additionally, SP-A also modulates the phenotypic and functional properties of the cells of adaptive immune response such as dendritic cells (DCs) and lymphocytes. Bone marrow-derived DCs generated in the presence of SP-A fail to increase lipopolysaccharide-induced upregulation of major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class II and CD86 costimulatory molecule on DCs surface and behaves like "tolerogenic DCs". SP-A may also induce tolerance by suppressing the proliferation of activated T lymphocytes. Thus, based on immunoregulatory properties of SP-A, it may be employed as a therapeutic agent for the treatment of autoimmune disease and organ transplantation.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Autoimmunity / immunology*
  • Immunity, Innate / immunology*
  • Mice
  • Pulmonary Surfactant-Associated Protein A / deficiency
  • Pulmonary Surfactant-Associated Protein A / immunology*


  • Pulmonary Surfactant-Associated Protein A