Immune dysregulation in the pathogenesis of pulmonary alveolar proteinosis. Academic Article uri icon


  • Pulmonary alveolar proteinosis (PAP) is a rare disease of the lung characterized by the accumulation of surfactant-derived lipoproteins within pulmonary alveolar macrophages and alveoli, resulting in respiratory insufficiency and increased infections. The disease is caused by a disruption in surfactant catabolism by alveolar macrophages due to loss of functional granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF) signaling. The underlying molecular mechanisms causing deficiencies in GM-CSF signaling are as follows: 1) high levels of neutralizing GM-CSF autoantibodies observed in autoimmune PAP; 2) mutations in CSF2RA, the gene encoding the alpha chain of the GM-CSF receptor, observed in hereditary PAP; and 3) reduced numbers and function of alveolar macrophages as a result of other clinical diseases seen in secondary PAP. Recent studies investigating the biology of GM-CSF have revealed that not only does this cytokine have an indispensable role in lung physiology, but it is also a critical regulator of innate immunity and lung host defense.

published proceedings

  • Curr Allergy Asthma Rep

author list (cited authors)

  • Martinez-Moczygemba, M., & Huston, D. P.

citation count

  • 8

complete list of authors

  • Martinez-Moczygemba, Margarita||Huston, David P

publication date

  • September 2010