Background Previously, we have found that dust mite allergens can directly activate alveolar macrophages (AMs), induce inflammatory cytokines, and enhance T-helper type 2 cytokine production. A molecule of innate immunity in the lung, surfactant protein D (SP-D), is able to bind mite allergens and alleviates allergen-induced airway inflammation.
Objectives This study was aimed at investigating the activation pathway of mite allergen (Dermatophagoides pteronyassinus, Der p)-induced nitric oxide (NO) production by AMs, and the role of SP-D in the modulation of activated AMs by mite allergens.
Methods Porcine SP-D was purified from bronchoalveolar lavage fluids of Lan-Yu mini-pigs, by affinity chromatography on maltose-sepharose. NO production, inducible expression of lipopolysaccharides (LPS)-related binding and responding surface receptors complex, CD14 and toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4), as well as inducible NO synthase (iNOs) and nuclear factor-κB activation were studied in two AMs cell lines, MH-S (BALB/c strain),and AMJ2-C11 (C57BL/6 strain), and one peritoneal macrophage cell line (RAW264.7), after stimulation with LPS, or Der p.
Results LPS and Der p elicited different responses of NO production in the different cell lines, and the response might depend upon the expression of the cell surface CD14/TLR4 complex in different genetic backgrounds of macrophage cell lines. Pretreatment of macrophages with SP-D could inhibit NO production from Der p or LPS-stimulated alveolar macrophages.
Conclusion Mite allergen-induced alveolar macrophage activation is mediated by CD14/TLR4 receptors and can be inhibited by SP-D; it further supports the concept that SP-D may be an important modulator of allergen-induced pulmonary inflammation.