Surfactant Protein-G in Wildtype and 3xTg-AD Mice: Localization in the Forebrain, Age-Dependent Hippocampal Dot-like Deposits and Brain Content

Biomolecules. 2022 Jan 7;12(1):96. doi: 10.3390/biom12010096.


The classic surfactant proteins (SPs) A, B, C, and D were discovered in the lungs, where they contribute to host defense and regulate the alveolar surface tension during breathing. Their additional importance for brain physiology was discovered decades later. SP-G, a novel amphiphilic SP, was then identified in the lungs and is mostly linked to inflammation. In the brain, it is also present and significantly elevated after hemorrhage in premature infants and in distinct conditions affecting the cerebrospinal fluid circulation of adults. However, current knowledge on SP-G-expression is limited to ependymal cells and some neurons in the subventricular and superficial cortex. Therefore, we primarily focused on the distribution of SP-G-immunoreactivity (ir) and its spatial relationships with components of the neurovascular unit in murine forebrains. Triple fluorescence labeling elucidated SP-G-co-expressing neurons in the habenula, infundibulum, and hypothalamus. Exploring whether SP-G might play a role in Alzheimer's disease (AD), 3xTg-AD mice were investigated and displayed age-dependent hippocampal deposits of β-amyloid and hyperphosphorylated tau separately from clustered, SP-G-containing dots with additional Reelin-ir-which was used as established marker for disease progression in this specific context. Semi-quantification of those dots, together with immunoassay-based quantification of intra- and extracellular SP-G, revealed a significant elevation in old 3xTg mice when compared to age-matched wildtype animals. This suggests a role of SP-G for the pathophysiology of AD, but a confirmation with human samples is required.

Keywords: 3xTg mouse; Alzheimer’s disease; Reelin; SFTA2; SP-G; habenula; hippocampus; hyperphosphorylated tau; β-amyloid.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Alzheimer Disease* / genetics
  • Alzheimer Disease* / metabolism
  • Amyloid beta-Peptides / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Brain / metabolism
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Hippocampus / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Pulmonary Surfactant-Associated Protein A / metabolism*
  • Surface-Active Agents / metabolism
  • tau Proteins / genetics
  • tau Proteins / metabolism


  • Amyloid beta-Peptides
  • Pulmonary Surfactant-Associated Protein A
  • SFTA2 protein, mouse
  • Surface-Active Agents
  • tau Proteins