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Surfactant Proteins in Smoking-Related Lung Disease

[ Vol. 16 , Issue. 14 ]


Andriana I. Papaioannou, Spyridon Papiris, Georgia Papadaki, Effrosyni D. Manali, Aneza Roussou, Aris Spathis, Petros Karakitsos and Konstantinos Kostikas   Pages 1574 - 1581 ( 8 )


Pulmonary surfactant is a highly surface-active mixture of proteins and lipids that is synthesized and secreted in the alveoli by type II epithelial cells and is found in the fluid lining the alveolar surface. The protein part of surfactant constitutes two hydrophilic proteins (SP-A and SP-D) that regulate surfactant metabolism and have immunologic functions, and two hydrophobic proteins (SP-B and SP-C), which play a direct role in the organization of the surfactant structure in the interphase and in the stabilization of the lipid layers during the respiratory cycle. Several studies have shown that cigarette smoke seems to affect, in several ways, both surfactant homeostasis and function. The alterations in surfactants’ biophysical properties caused by cigarette smoking, contribute to the development of several smoking related lung diseases. In this review we provide information on biochemical and physiological aspects of the pulmonary surfactant and on its possible association with the development of two major chronic diseases of the lung known to be related to smoking, i.e. chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF). Additional information on the possible role of surfactant protein alterations and/or dysfunction in the combination of these two conditions, recently described as combined pulmonary fibrosis and emphysema (CPFE) are also provided.


Pulmonary Surfactant, Surfactant Proteins, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis, Combined Pulmonary Fibrosis and Emphysema.


2nd Respiratory Medicine Department, “Attikon” University Hospital, Athens Medical School, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece.

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