[Cite as http://purl.org/au-research/grants/nhmrc/458690]
Prof Geoffrey Stewart
Dr Nithiananthan Asokananthan
Brief description Lung surfactant comprises both lipids and proteins and is secreted by alveolar type II cells into the liquid lining the air-tissue interface. These monolayers stabilise the alveoli, decrease the work of breathing, prevent oedema, and assist in the clearance of foreign particles from the epithelial lining. In addition to this homeostatic role in respiration, there is evidence linking surfactant with removal of harmful microbes and allergy and asthma. Various stimuli are known to control surfactant production to maintain normal, healthy lung function but with microbes and allergen, where inflammation is common, the role of pro-inflammatory proteases and protease activated receptors (PAR) in their biology has not been investigated. Our preliminary findings now show, however, that they are involved. In this proposal, we will determine their importance in surfactant production both in vitro and in vivo. The possibility that proteases and their receptors play a role in surfactant production has not been previously described but if shown to play a role in production, we will have identified a novel pathway that will aid our understanding of the mechanisms of surfactant release and, possibly, lung development. Thus, it is anticipated that results from this study may contribute to a significant reduction in morbidity associated with the above mentioned diseases, resulting in reduction in the cost of health care. Social benefits obtained from study this would be improved health as a result of the application of the findings to patients who currently lead a life heavy dependant on medical interventions.
Funding Amount $AUD 562,427.05
Funding Scheme NHMRC Project Grants
Standard Project Grant