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      Immunoregulatory functions of surfactant proteins.

      Nature reviews. Immunology

      metabolism, Surface-Active Agents, physiology, immunology, Pulmonary Surfactant-Associated Protein A, Proteins, Phagocytosis, Immune System, Humans, chemistry, Collectins, Apoptosis, Animals

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          Abstract

          Because the lungs function as the body's gas-exchange organ, they are inevitably exposed to air that is contaminated with pathogens, allergens and pollutants. Host-defence mechanisms within the lungs must facilitate clearance of inhaled pathogens and particles while minimizing an inflammatory response that could damage the thin, delicate gas-exchanging epithelium. Pulmonary surfactant is a complex of lipids and proteins that enhances pathogen clearance and regulates adaptive and innate immune-cell functions. In this article, I review the structure and functions of the surfactant proteins SP-A and SP-D in regulating host immune defence and in modulating inflammatory responses.

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          Author and article information

          Journal
          10.1038/nri1528
          15630429

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