Interaction of surfactant protein a with lipopolysaccharide and regulation of inflammatory cytokines in the THP-1 monocytic cell line

Mingchen Song, David S. Phelps

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Pulmonary surfactant protein A (SP-A) is involved in innate immunity in the lung. In this study we investigated the interaction of SP-A with different serotypes of lipopolysaccharide (LPS) on the regulation of inflammatory cytokines in vitro. In the human monocytic cell line, THP-1, combining SP-A with lipid A or rough LPS further enhanced lipid A- or rough LPS-stimulated tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) mRNA levels, while SP-A-elicited increases in TNF-α mRNA levels were partially neutralized. In contrast, the combination of smooth LPS and SP-A resulted in additive effects on TNF-α mRNA levels. We also demonstrated that there was cross-tolerance between SP-A and LPS in THP-1 cells. Pretreatment of THP-1 cells with LPS modestly inhibited the response of these cells to subsequent challenge with SP-A, with regard to the production of TNF-α, whereas there was no or little effect on the production of interleukin-1β (IL-1β) and IL-8. Conversely, pretreatment of THP-1 cells with SP-A markedly increased the response to subsequent challenge with LPS with regard to the production of IL-1β and IL-8, although the production of TNF-α was modestly decreased. However, a synergistic stimulatory effect was observed when the two agents were added simultaneously to the cells. NF-κB formation was downregulated in SP-A- but not in LPS-induced tolerant cells. These results suggested that SP-A exhibits different interactions with distinct serotypes of LPS. In addition, SP-A is different from LPS with regard to the induction of cross-tolerance, and these actions may be mediated, at least in part, through different mechanisms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6611-6617
Number of pages7
JournalInfection and Immunity
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2000


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Parasitology
  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Infectious Diseases

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