Pulmonary haptoglobin (pHp) is part of the surfactant system in the human lung
Clinical and Experimental Pathology, Research Center Borstel, Airway Research Center North (ARCN), Member of the German Center for Lung Research, Parkallee 3, D-23845, Borstel, Germany
Diagnostic Pathology 2012, 7:158 doi:10.1186/1746-1596-7-158Published: 20 November 2012
Since the existence of pHp was demonstrated, it has been shown that this molecule and its receptor CD163 are regulated by different stimuli. Furthermore, a comparably fast secretion of pHp was described as well as the immuno-stimulatory effects. The intention of this study was to elucidate the role of pHp in the human lungs further. Here we show, by means of confocal microscopy and immune-electron-microscopy, a clear co-localization of pHp with Surfactant protein-B in lamellar bodies of Alveolar Epithelial Cells Type II. These results are underlined by immunohistochemical stainings in differently fixed human lung tissues, which show pHp in vesicular and released form. The images of the released form resemble the intended position of surfactant in the human alveolus. pHp is secreted by Alveolar epithelial cells type II as previously shown. Moreover, pHp is co-localized with Surfactant protein-B. We conclude that the presented data shows that pHp is a native part of the surfactant system in the human lung.