Effects of dexamethasone and indomethacin on elastase, alpha 1-proteinase inhibitor, and fibronectin in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid from neonates

J Pediatr. 1988 Oct;113(4):727-31. doi: 10.1016/s0022-3476(88)80390-1.


Elastase activity and concentrations of alpha 1-proteinase inhibitor, albumin, and fibronectin were measured in bronchoaleolar lavage (BAL) fluid from ventilated lungs in preterm neonates with lung disease before and after treatment with dexamethasone or indomethacin. Treatment with dexamethasone was associated with a significant decrease in BAL elastase activity but no change in fibronectin, albumin, or alpha 1-proteinase inhibitor concentrations. In contrast, treatment with indomethacin was associated with an increase in BAL elastase activity and fibronectin concentration, with no change in albumin or alpha 1-proteinase inhibitor concentrations. Control groups showed no changes in these BAL fluid biochemical markers during a similar time period. These data indicate that treatment with corticosteroids decreases lung inflammation as measured by BAL elastase activity. Corticosteroid treatment may not inhibit the development of pulmonary fibrosis, because fibronectin concentrations in BAL fluid were unaffected. Indomethacin treatment may augment lung inflammation and fibrosis by increasing BAL elastase activity and fibronectin concentration.

MeSH terms

  • Acute-Phase Proteins / analysis
  • Blood Proteins / analysis
  • Bronchoalveolar Lavage Fluid / analysis*
  • Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia / drug therapy*
  • Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia / metabolism
  • Dexamethasone / therapeutic use*
  • Fibronectins / analysis
  • Humans
  • Indomethacin / therapeutic use*
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Pancreatic Elastase / analysis
  • Respiratory Distress Syndrome, Newborn / drug therapy*
  • Respiratory Distress Syndrome, Newborn / metabolism
  • alpha 1-Antitrypsin


  • Acute-Phase Proteins
  • Blood Proteins
  • Fibronectins
  • alpha 1-Antitrypsin
  • Dexamethasone
  • Pancreatic Elastase
  • Indomethacin