Aspergillus fumigatus-induced allergic airway inflammation alters surfactant homeostasis and lung function in BALB/c mice

Angela Franciska Haczku, E. N. Atochina, Y. Tomer, H. Chen, S. T. Scanlon, S. Russo, J. Xu, Jr Panettieri, M. F. Beers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

73 Scopus citations


The differential regulation of pulmonary surfactant proteins (5Ps) is demonstrated in a murine model of Aspergillus fumigatus (Af)-induced allergic airway inflammation and hyperresponsiveness. BALB/c mice were sensitized intraperitoneally and challenged intranasally with Af extract. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay analysis of serum immunoglobulin (Ig) levels in these mice showed markedly increased total IgE and Af-specific IgE and IgG1. This was associated with peribronchial/perivascular tissue inflammation, airway eosinophilia, and secretion of interleukin (IL)-4 and IL-5 into the bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALI:). Functional analysis revealed that in comparison with nonsensitized mice, allergic sensitization and challenge resulted in significant increases in acetylcholine responsiveness. To analyze levels of SPs, the cell-free supernate of the BALF was further fractionated by high-speed (20,000 × g) centrifugation. After sensitization and challenges, the pellet (large-aggregate fraction) showed a selective downregulation of hydrophobic SPs SP-B and SP-C by 50%. This reduction was reflected by commensurate decreases in SP-B and SP-C messenger RNA (mRNA) expression of the lung tissue of these animals. In contrast, there was a 9-fold increase in SP-D protein levels in the 20,000 × g supernate without changes in SP-D mRNA. The increased levels of SP-D showed a significant positive correlation with serum IgE (r = 0.85, P < 0.001). Tissue mRNA and protein levels of 5P-A in either the large- or the small-aggregate fractions were unaffected. Our data indicate that allergic airway inflammation induces selective inhibition of hydrophobic SP synthesis accompanied by marked increases in the lung collectin SP-D protein content of BALF. These changes may contribute significantly to the pathophysiology of Af-induced allergic airway hyperresponsiveness.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)45-50
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Respiratory Cell and Molecular Biology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)
  • Molecular Biology
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology


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