The role of the collectin system in pulmonary defence

Paediatr Respir Rev. 2001 Mar;2(1):70-5. doi: 10.1053/prrv.2000.0104.


The human collectin system comprises the serum protein, mannose- binding lectin and the hydrophilic surfactant proteins A and D. The three proteins possess structural and functional similarities and are important components of innate immunity. Through a variety of mechanisms, including direct opsonisation and complement activation, they assist in host defence against a wide array of micro-organisms. Investigation of the roles of the surfactant proteins in pulmonary disease has been assisted recently by the development of transgenic knockout mice. Animals deficient in these proteins display susceptibility to certain bacterial and viral pathogens, stimulating research into the role of polymorphisms in these genes in human respiratory disease. The role of MBL in human pulmonary disease is less well established, although accumulating evidence suggests that it is a modifier for lung disease in tuberculosis and cystic fibrosis.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Animals
  • Child
  • Collectins / immunology*
  • Collectins / physiology
  • Humans
  • Lung / immunology*
  • Lung / physiology
  • Lung / physiopathology
  • Lung Diseases / genetics
  • Lung Diseases / immunology*
  • Lung Diseases / physiopathology*
  • Mice
  • Models, Animal
  • Rabbits


  • Collectins