SerpinB1 is a clade B serpin, or ov-serpin, found at high levels in the cytoplasm of neutrophils. SerpinB1 inhibits neutrophil serine proteases, which are important in killing microbes. When released from granules, these potent enzymes also destroy host proteins and contribute to morbidity and mortality in inflammatory diseases including emphysema, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, cystic fibrosis, arthritis, and sepsis. Studies of serpinB1-deficient mice have established a crucial role for this serpin in Pseudomonas aeruginosa infection by preserving lung antimicrobial proteins from proteolysis and by protecting lung-recruited neutrophils from a premature death. SerpinB1⁻/⁻ mice also have a severe defect in the bone marrow reserve of mature neutrophils demonstrating a key role for serpinB1 in cellular homeostasis. Here, key methods used to generate and characterize serpinB1⁻/⁻ mice are described including intranasal inoculation, myeloperoxidase activity, flow cytometry analysis of bone marrow myeloid cells, and elastase activity. SerpinB1-knockout mice provide a model to dissect the pathogenesis of inflammatory disease characterized by protease:antiprotease imbalance and may be used to assess the efficacy of therapeutic compounds.
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