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    Lung tissues are highly susceptible to airway inflammation as they are inevitably exposed to inhaled pathogens and allergens. In the lungs, clearance of infectious agents and regulation of inflammatory responses are important for the first-line defense, where surfactants play a role in host defense mechanisms. In this review, clinical significance of pulmonary surfactants in asthma has been highlighted. Surfactants, such as surfactant protein A (SP-A) and SP-D released from alveolar epithelium, reduce pathogen infection and control immune-cell activation. Especially, SP-D directly binds to eosinophil surface, leading to inhibition of extracellular trap formation and reduction in airway inflammation. Production of surfactants is commonly determined by both genetic (single nucleotide polymorphisms) and environmental factors influencing processes involved in the development of asthma. In addition, nintedanib (an intracellular inhibitor of tyrosine kinases) could increase SP-D levels and is used in patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. These findings may provide a possible application of SP-D in asthma. Surfactants are key players contributing to host defense through maintaining the immune system. As clinical implications of surfactants involved in asthma have been suggested, further translational studies are needed to apply surfactants as an effective therapeutic target in patients with asthma.


    Youngwoo Choi, Jaehyuk Jang, Hae-Sim Park. Pulmonary Surfactants: a New Therapeutic Target in Asthma. Current allergy and asthma reports. 2020 Sep 11;20(11):70

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    PMID: 32914349

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