Neutrophil elastase associated with alveolar macrophages from older volunteers

Tomoko Betsuyaku, Aya Yoshioka, Masaharu Nishimura, Kenji Miyamoto, Takahito Kondo, Yoshikazu Kawakami

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


We focused on the role of neutrophil elastase (NE) in alveolar macrophages (AMs), and evaluated the esterolytic activity using an NE-sensitive substrate, methoxysuccinyl-alanyl-alanyl-prolyl-valyl paranitroanilide (MEOSAAPVNA) in AMs from 36 older healthy volunteers (61 ± 2 yr mean age ± standard error) and examined the relationship to chronic effects of cigarette smoking and also to the presence of low attenuation areas (LAAs) on the computed tomographic (CT) scans. The AMs from the subjects with LAAS showed significantly higher activity than those from the current smokers without LAA (1.16 ± 0.40 versus 0.34 ± 0.07 nM, respectively, p < 0.05). Although the study of inhibitory profile revealed that the esterolytic activity could not be attributed to NE alone, the NE activity seemed to dominate in AMs at least from some who had higher esterolytic activity. We then examined the releasability of NE from cultured AMS in 10 subjects. The immunologic NE complex with alpha 1-protease inhibitor (α1-PI) was released significantly higher in the LAA(+) group than in the LAA(-) group (17.4 ± 6.5 versus 1.8 ± 0.6 μg/L, respectively, p < 0.05). These data suggest that NE in AMs may play a role in the development of emphysematous changes in susceptible smokers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)436-442
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican journal of respiratory and critical care medicine
Issue number2 I
Publication statusPublished - 1995 Feb
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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