[Frontiers in Bioscience E3, 291-300, January 1, 2011]
Surfactant proteins A and D in pregnancy and parturition
Ajit Kumar Yadav1, Taruna Madan1, Andres Lopez Bernal2
1National Institute for Research in Reproductive Health, Mumbai, India, 2University of Bristol, School of Clinical Sciences, Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Bristol, UK
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Surfactant proteins A and D have extra-pulmonary expression at various mucosal sites including the reproductive tract. Reproductive tissues require a fine immune balance, strong enough to keep infection at a bay and at the same time, subtle enough to support an allogeneic fetus throughout the pregnancy. Roles of SP-A and SP-D have been studied in depth and include immunoregulatory function, besides strengthening the innate immune system against various pathogens in the lungs. Interestingly, levels of SP-A and SP-D in the amniotic fluid increase progressively in pregnancy. SP-A has been implicated in the induction of parturition. The present review elaborates the plausible roles of SP-A and SP-D in pregnancy maintenance and future applications.