Surfactant protein D augments bacterial association but attenuates major histocompatibility complex class II presentation of bacterial antigens

Soren Hansen, Bernice Lo, Kathy Evans, Pavlos Neophytou, Uffe Holmskov, Jo Rae Wright

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

33 Citations (Scopus)


Surfactant protein D (SP-D) is a secreted pattern recognition molecule associated with lung surfactant and mediates the clearance of pathogens in multiple ways. SP-D is an established part of the innate immune system, but it also modulates the adaptive immune response by interacting with both antigen-presenting cells and T cells. In a previous study, antigen presentation by bone marrow-derived dendritic cells was enhanced by SP-D. As dendritic cell function varies depending on the tissue of origin, we extended these studies to antigen-presenting cells isolated from mouse lung. Flow cytometric studies showed that SP-D binds calcium dependently and specifically to lung CD11c-positive cells. Opsonization of fluorescently labeled Escherichia coli by SP-D enhanced uptake by lung dendritic cells. SP-D facilitated the association of E. coli and antigen-presenting cells by increasing the frequency of CD11+ cells associated with E. coli by up to 10-fold. In contrast to the effect on bone marrow-derived dendritic cells, SP-D decreased the antigen presentation of ovalbumin, expressed in E. coli, to ovalbumin-specific major histocompatibility complex class II-specific T-cell hybridomas by 30-50%. The reduction of antigen presentation did not depend on whether the dendritic cells were isolated from the lungs of nonstimulated mice or mice that had been exposed to LPS aerosols. Our results show that SP-D increases the opsonization of pathogens, but decreases the antigen presentation by lung dendritic cells, and thereby, potentially dampens the activation of T cells and an adaptive immune response against bacterial antigens-during both steady-state conditions and inflammation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)94-102
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican journal of respiratory cell and molecular biology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2007



  • Antigen presentation
  • Collectins
  • Lung
  • Opsonization
  • SP-D

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology

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