Background: Surfactant Protein-A (SP-A) is a major protein component of surfactant and plays a role in surfactant-related functions and innate immunity. Human SP-A consists of two functional genes, SFTPA1 and SFTPA2, encoding SP-A1 and SP-A2 proteins, respectively and each is identified with numerous genetic variants. These differentially enhance bacterial phagocytosis, with SP-A2 variants being more effective than SP-A1. Methods: Lung functions of humanized transgenic (hTG) mice that carry different SP-A1 and SP-A2 variants or both variants SP-A1/SP-A2 (6A2/1A0, co-ex), as well as SP-A knockout (KO), were studied. The animals were connected to a flexiVent system to obtain forced oscillation technique (FOT) measurements and the data were analyzed using various models. Lung function was assessed after infection (baseline) and following inhaled methacholine concentrations (0-50 mg/mL). Results: Here, we investigated the role of SP-A variants on airway function after Klebsiella pneumoniae (Kp) infection (baseline) and following inhaled methacholine. We found that: 1) in the absence of methacholine no significant differences were observed between SP-A1 and SP-A2 variants and/or SP-A knockout (KO) except for sex differences in most of the parameters studied. 2) In response to methacholine, i) sex differences were observed that were reverse of those observed in the absence of methacholine; ii) SP-A2 (1A3) gene variant in males exhibited increased total and central airway resistance (Rrs and Rn) versus all other variants; iii) In females, SP-A2 (1A3) and SP-A1 (6A2) variants had similar increases in total and central airway resistance (Rrs and Rn) versus all other variants; iv) Allele-specific differences were observed, a) with SP-A2 (1A3) exhibiting significantly higher lung functions versus SP-A2 (1A0) in both sexes, except for Crs, and b) SP-A1 (6A2, 6A4) had more diverse changes in lung function in both sexes. Conclusion: We conclude that, in response to infection and methacholine, SP-A variants differentially affect lung function and exhibit sex-specific differences consistent with previously reported findings of functional differences of SP-A variants. Thus, the observed changes in respiratory function mechanics provide insight into the role and importance of genetic variation of innate immune molecules, such as SP-A, on mechanical consequences of lung function after infection and inhaled substances.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine