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Collectins such as surfactant proteins SP-A, SP-D, and mannan-binding lectin (MBL), as well as complement protein C1q are evolutionarily conserved innate immune molecules. They are known to opsonize a range of microbial pathogens (bacteria, fungi, virus, and parasites) and trigger effector clearance mechanisms involving phagocytosis and/or complement activation. Collectins and C1q have also attracted attention in studies involving pregnancy as they are expressed in the female reproductive tissues during pregnancy; a unique state of immune suppression with increased susceptibility to infectious diseases. Recent studies are beginning to unravel their functional significance in implantation, placentation, pregnancy maintenance and parturition in normal and adverse pregnancies. Collectins and C1q, expressed in gestational tissues during pregnancy, might alter the status of mother's immune response to the allogenic fetus and the microenvironment, thereby serving as important regulators of fetus-mother interaction. Here, we discuss the functional roles that have been assigned to SP-A, SP-D, MBL and C1q in pregnancy and parturition.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date





1273 - 1288


Biosciences, College of Health and Life Sciences, Brunel University London, Uxbridge UB8 3PH, United Kingdom; Centre for Biotechnology and Bioinformatics, School of Life Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru Institute for Advanced Studies, Secunderabad, Telangana, India.