Organic barn dust inhibits surfactant protein D production through protein kinase-c alpha dependent increase of GPR116

David Schneberger, Jane M. DeVasure, Shelley A. Kirychuk, Todd A Wyatt

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1 Scopus citations


Prolonged exposure to organic barn dusts can lead to chronic inflammation and a broad range of lung problems over time, mediated by innate immune mechanisms. The immune surfactant or collectin surfactant protein D (SP-D) is a crucial multifunctional innate immune receptor. Little work to date has examined the effect of such collectins in response to organic dusts. We provide evidence here that agricultural organic dusts can inhibit mRNA and protein expression of SP-D in a human alveolar epithelial cell line, and an in vivo mouse model. This inhibition was not a result of lipopolysaccharide (LPS) or peptidoglycans, the two most commonly cited immune active components of these dusts. We further show that inhibition of the signaling molecule protein kinase C alpha (PKCα) can reverse this inhibition implicating it as a mechanism of SP-D inhibition. Examination of the SP-D regulatory receptor GPR116 showed that its mRNA expression was increased in response to dust and inhibited by blocking PKCα, implicating it as a means of inhibiting SP-D in the lungs in response to organic dusts. This reduction shows that organic barn dust can reduce lung SP-D, thus leaving workers potentially at risk for a host of pathogens.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere0208597
JournalPloS one
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2018


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • General

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