Growing interest raised on circulating biomarkers of structural alveolar–capillary unit damage and very recent data support surfactant protein type B (SP-B) as the most promising candidate in this setting. With respect to other proteins proposed as possible markers of lung damage, SP-B has some unique qualities: it is critical for the assembly of pulmonary surfactant, making its lack incompatible with life; it has no other known site of synthesis except alveolar epithelial cells different from other surfactant proteins; and, it undergoes a proteolytic processing in a pulmonary-cell-specific manner. In the recent years circulating SP-B isoforms, mature or immature, have been demonstrated to be detectable in the circulation depending on the magnitude of the damage of alveolar capillary membrane. In the present review, we summarize the recent knowledge on SP-B regulation, function and we discuss its potential role as reliable biological marker of alveolar capillary membrane (dys)function in the context of heart failure.
- Heart failure
- Lung damage
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine