Acute effect of smoking on elastaselike esterase activity and immunologic neutrophil elastase levels in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid

Am Rev Respir Dis. 1986 Apr;133(4):568-73. doi: 10.1164/arrd.1986.133.4.568.


In order to determine the acute effect of smoking on elastase in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BAL), we obtained BAL from 30 smokers twice, the first before smoking (after 8 h of abstinence) and the second 2 min to 1 h after the subjects had smoked either 2 or 4 cigarettes. Bronchoalveolar lavage was concentrated 100-fold and was assayed for elastaselike activity against succinyl-trialanyl-p-nitroanilide (SLAPN) as substrate. Elastolytic activity against insoluble 3H-elastin and immunologic neutrophil elastase levels tested with a sensitive enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay were determined in some subjects. No activity against insoluble 3H-elastin was detected using a sensitive assay capable of detecting subnanogram quantities of elastase. Total elastaselike activity in BAL against SLAPN was significantly (p less than 0.02) increased in smokers prior to smoking (47.4 +/- SD 20.2 ng human neutrophil elastase (HNE) equivalents) when compared with BAL from 7 nonsmokers (26.3 +/- SD 13.4 ng HNE); however, there was no significant change in enzyme activity in smokers' BAL after smoking. Assays with EDTA and phenyl-methyl-sulfonyl-fluoride as inhibitors suggested that approximately two thirds of elastaselike activity was due to a metalloprotease and that there was negligible serine protease activity.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Bronchi / cytology
  • Bronchi / enzymology*
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • Esterases / metabolism*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Macrophages / enzymology
  • Male
  • Neutrophils / enzymology*
  • Oligopeptides / metabolism
  • Pancreatic Elastase / metabolism*
  • Pulmonary Alveoli / cytology
  • Pulmonary Alveoli / enzymology*
  • Smoking*
  • Therapeutic Irrigation
  • Time Factors


  • Oligopeptides
  • succinyl-trialanine-4-nitroanilide
  • Esterases
  • Pancreatic Elastase