Background: Surfactant protein D (SPD) is a member of the collectin family that lines the airway epithelial cells with host defense. However, the role of SPD in the pathogenesis of aspirin-exacerbated respiratory disease (AERD) is still unclear.
Methods: The serum SPD level was measured in patients with AERD (n = 336), those with aspirin-tolerant asthma (ATA, n = 442), and healthy controls (HC, n = 104). Polymorphisms of SFTPD in the study subjects were analyzed. The effect of LTE4 on SPD production through eosinophil infiltration was investigated in BALB/c mice. The protective function of SPD against eosinophils inducing inflammation and remodeling was assessed in vitro/vivo. The potential efficacy of nintedanib against airway remodeling through the production of SPD was evaluated.
Results: The serum SPD level was significantly lower (P < .001) in AERD compared with ATA patients, and negatively correlated with fall in FEV1 (%) after lysine-aspirin bronchoprovocation test and/or the urinary LTE4 level. In addition, polymorphism of SFTPD at rs721917 was significantly different in the study subjects (odds ratio, 1.310; 95% confidence intervals, 2.124-3.446; P = .002). LTE4-exposed mice showed an increased eosinophil count with a decreased SPD level in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid. Eosinophils increased α-smooth muscle actin expression in airway epithelial cells, which was attenuated by SPD treatment. Furthermore, nintedanib protected the airway epithelial cells against eosinophils by enhancing the production of SPD.
Conclusion: The decreased level of SPD in AERD was associated with airway inflammation/remodeling under the eosinophilic condition, suggesting that modulation of SPD may provide a potential benefit in AERD.
Keywords: aspirin-exacerbated respiratory disease; eosinophils; inflammation; remodeling; surfactant protein D.
© 2018 EAACI and John Wiley and Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley and Sons Ltd.