Neutrophils and protease/antiprotease imbalance

Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 1999 Nov;160(5 Pt 2):S49-52. doi: 10.1164/ajrccm.160.supplement_1.13.


An imbalance between neutrophil proteases and the surrounding antiproteases is critical in the normal functioning of the neutrophil. Enzyme activity is of importance in cell migration and may play a role in some beneficial aspects of host defense. However, when persistent or excessive this imbalance can be detrimental and (even in the absence of antiprotease deficiency) central to most of the pathogenic processes in COPD. Understanding of these complex relationships that alter a beneficial host defense response to a destructive one will be critical in the development of long-term therapeutic strategies. Stockley RA. Neutrophils and protease/antiprotease imbalance.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Leukocyte Elastase / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Leukocyte Elastase / physiology*
  • Lung Diseases, Obstructive / immunology*
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 8 / physiology*
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase Inhibitors
  • Neutrophil Infiltration / immunology
  • Protease Inhibitors / metabolism
  • Respiratory Mucosa / immunology
  • Smoking / adverse effects


  • Matrix Metalloproteinase Inhibitors
  • Protease Inhibitors
  • Leukocyte Elastase
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 8