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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Surfactant protein A is degraded by alveolar macrophages.

The metabolism of iodinated lung surfactant protein A (SP-A) by alveolar macrophages in primary culture was examined to determine the role these cells play in the degradation of this surfactant protein. SP-A was isolated from lung lavage obtained from normal bovines, patients with alveolar proteinosis, and silica-treated rats. SP-A (0.5 microgram/ml) was incubated for 3 h with rat alveolar macrophages obtained by lung lavage. Cell association and degradation of human and rat SP-A was three times greater than that of bovine SP-A. During the 3-h period, 50% of total macrophage-associated SP-A was degraded. Degradation was time-, temperature-, and concentration-dependent after a 1-h lag period. SP-A degradation was intracellular, since NH4Cl inhibited degradation > 50%, and macrophage-conditioned medium was ineffective. Tenfold more SP-A was degraded by macrophages than by type II cells isolated after elastase digestion of rat lungs. There was little degradation of SP-A by HeLa cells. We conclude that alveolar macrophages take up and degrade SP-A and thus could contribute to the catabolism of SP-A in the lung.[1]


  1. Surfactant protein A is degraded by alveolar macrophages. Bates, S.R., Fisher, A.B. Am. J. Physiol. (1996) [Pubmed]
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