Collectins in urinary tract and kidney diseases

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The innate immune system serves as the frontline defense against invading pathogens and initiates an inflammatory response to microorganisms. Collectins are C-type lectins that are structurally characterized by a collagen-like sequence and a carbohydrate recognition domain. Moreover, they are widely expressed throughout the body and are involved in the innate immunity against a variety of pathogens, regulating inflammation, and protecting the lungs from pathogens. Recently, two classical collectins, surfactant protein A (SP-A) and surfactant protein D (SP-D), as well as novel collectin 11, were found present in urinary tract tissues. They are increasingly recognized as key players in activating the humoral arm of innate immunity and host defense in urinary tract and kidney diseases, although their biological features, functions, and mechanisms in this regard remain largely unclear. In this review, we aim to integrate results reported by ourselves and others to summarize and gain a better understanding of the functions of collectins (SP-A, SP-D, and collectin 11) in urinary tract and kidney diseases.

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Fig. 1

The figure has been modified and reprinted from Selman et al. [3]

Fig. 2


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This work was supported by grants from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (81300617) and Hubei Province Health and Family Planning Scientific Research Project (WJ2015Q038).

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Correspondence to Fengqi Hu.

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Qin, Y., Liu, J., Liu, J. et al. Collectins in urinary tract and kidney diseases. Int Urol Nephrol 50, 695–703 (2018).

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  • Surfactant protein A
  • Surfactant protein D
  • Collectin 11
  • Innate immunity
  • Host defense