Elastase-induced changes in lung function: relationship to morphometry and effect of drugs

Pulm Pharmacol Ther. 2003;16(4):221-9. doi: 10.1016/S1094-5539(03)00052-X.


Intratracheal administration of porcine pancreatic elastase (PPE) produced a dose related decline in lung function, as assessed by changes in dynamic lung compliance (C(dyn)) in New Zealand White rabbits. This occurred within 24 h of administration and persisted for 56 days (n=6). These lung function changes were accompanied by histological evidence of emphysema in the lungs and were not mimicked by intratracheal administration of the proteolytic enzyme trypsin. Neither the lung function nor the histological changes induced by elastase could be prevented or reversed by either the glucocorticosteroid, dexamethasone, or all trans retinoic acid (ATRA).Our data suggest that local administration of elastase to the lungs of rabbits may provide a convenient way to assess the effects of drugs on the changes induced by elastase in airways.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Dexamethasone / therapeutic use
  • Emphysema / chemically induced
  • Emphysema / pathology
  • Glucocorticoids / therapeutic use
  • Male
  • Pancreatic Elastase / toxicity*
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / chemically induced*
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / pathology
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / prevention & control
  • Pulmonary Gas Exchange / drug effects
  • Rabbits
  • Swine
  • Treatment Failure
  • Tretinoin / therapeutic use


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Glucocorticoids
  • Tretinoin
  • Dexamethasone
  • Pancreatic Elastase