Helicobacter infection in the surfactant protein D-deficient mouse

Helicobacter. 2007 Apr;12(2):112-23. doi: 10.1111/j.1523-5378.2007.00480.x.


Background: Surfactant protein D (SP-D), a component of innate immunity, is expressed in the gastric mucosa and is up-regulated in the presence of Helicobacter infection. SP-D binds to Helicobacter in vitro, suggesting the involvement of SP-D in Helicobacter-induced immune responses. The aim of this study was to determine the role of SP-D in gastric epithelial defense in vivo.

Methods: Specific pathogen-free SP-D-deficient mice (SP-D(-/-)) and C57BL/6 wild-type controls were challenged by gavage with different doses of Helicobacter felis, a mouse-adapted Helicobacter strain. Mice were assessed for colonization rates and density of infection. Inflammatory responses were measured by neutrophil counting and T-cell responses by proliferation assays on spleen cells stimulated with H. felis sonicate. The in vitro effect of SP-D on Helicobacter uptake by monocyte-derived dendritic cells was assessed by confocal microscopy and FACS analyses.

Results: SP-D(-/-) mice were more susceptible to low-dose infectious challenge than C57BL/6 controls (p = .02). The density of colonization was higher in the SP-D(-/-) infected mice. Neutrophil infiltrates were lower in the SP-D(-/-) mice, particularly in the acid-secreting regions of the stomach. T-cell proliferative responses to Helicobacter antigen were reduced in SP-D(-/-) mice (p = .001) after 12 weeks infection. In vitro uptake of Helicobacter by dendritic cells was significantly enhanced in the presence of SP-D (p = .001).

Conclusion: In the absence of SP-D, Helicobacter uptake by dendritic cells is impaired. This provides an explanation for the diminished inflammation and immune responses in the SP-D(-/-) mice.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Agglutination
  • Animals
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Dendritic Cells / microbiology
  • Female
  • Gastritis / microbiology
  • Gastritis / pathology
  • Helicobacter Infections / metabolism*
  • Helicobacter Infections / microbiology
  • Helicobacter Infections / pathology
  • Helicobacter felis / immunology
  • Helicobacter felis / pathogenicity*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Mutant Strains
  • Pulmonary Surfactant-Associated Protein D / genetics
  • Pulmonary Surfactant-Associated Protein D / physiology*
  • T-Lymphocytes / pathology


  • Pulmonary Surfactant-Associated Protein D