Background The surfactant protein SP-D has been reported to reduce bronchial hyper-responsiveness, blood eosinophilia, and T-helper type 2 cytokines in models of allergic asthma. However, little is known about the functional effect of SP-D on the early airway response upon allergen inhalation, which is an important feature of this disease.
Objective We investigated whether SP-D is able to reduce the immediate allergen-induced mediator release and the early bronchial obstruction in addition to its effects on airway inflammation and bronchial hyperresponsiveness in an Aspergillus fumigatus mouse asthma model.
Methods A. fumigatus-sensitized mice were treated with a recombinant fragment of human SP-D or placebo. Lung functions were measured in orotracheally intubated, spontaneously breathing animals using body plethysmography. In addition, passively sensitized precision-cut lung slices (PCLS) were used to determine the effect of SP-D on allergen-induced histamine release.
Results SP-D inhibited the allergen-induced early airway response and reduced airway hyperresponsiveness compared with placebo. Eosinophilia in bronchoalveolar lavage and lung tissue was reduced after SP-D treatment, possibly by reducing eotaxin levels in the lung. Furthermore, SP-D treatment reduced the allergen-induced histamine release from PCLS.
Conclusions These data suggest that SP-D not only reduces allergen-induced eosinophilic inflammation and airway hyperresponsiveness but also provides protection against early airway obstruction by inhibition of early mediator release.