Pulmonary Elastase Activity in Response to Streptococcus Pneumoniae and Pseudomonas Aeruginosa

Am Rev Respir Dis. 1985 Apr;131(4):559-63. doi: 10.1164/arrd.1985.131.4.559.


Elastase activity generated during lung defense against aerobic bacteria was studied in an animal model. Bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluid from hamsters inoculated with bacteria was assayed for elastase activity at 0, 2, 4, 6, and 8 h after inoculation using a synthetic substrate of elastase, succinyl-trialanine-nitroanilide (SLAPN). Streptococcus pneumoniae type 25 inoculation led to a peak elastase activity of 0.72 +/- 0.27 X 10(-3) units, not significantly different from baseline (0.41 +/- 0.08 X 10(-3) units) or saline control (0.33 +/- 0.18 X 10(-3) units). In contrast, inoculation with Pseudomonas aeruginosa strain PAO-1 (a species known to produce elastase as well as other virulence factors) produced peak elastase activity of 3.0 +/- 1.2 X 10(-3) units in BAL fluid, significantly higher than either pneumococcus type 25 or saline control (p less than 0.025). Inoculation with Pseudomonas aeruginosa strain E-64, an isogenic mutant of PAO-1 that produces a nonfunctional elastase, led to peak levels similar to the PAO-1 strain, suggesting that the presence of bacterial elastase was not the primary factor in BAL fluid elastase activity. Total numbers of granulocytes in BAL fluid from pneumococcus-inoculated animals (144 +/- 31 X 10(6] was significantly higher (p less than 0.05) than from either the PAO-1 (74 +/- 31 X 10(6] or E-64 (99 +/- 27 X 10(6] strains of Pseudomonas, Use of selective enzyme inhibitors of elastase, diisopropyl fluorophosphate and disodium ethylenediaminetetraacetate, implied that the majority of elastase activity in BAL fluid was due to a serine protease, of which granulocyte elastase is the primary source.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cricetinae
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Lung / cytology
  • Lung / enzymology*
  • Male
  • Mesocricetus
  • Pancreatic Elastase / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Pancreatic Elastase / metabolism*
  • Pneumococcal Infections / enzymology*
  • Pneumococcal Infections / microbiology
  • Pneumonia, Pneumococcal / enzymology*
  • Pneumonia, Pneumococcal / microbiology
  • Pseudomonas Infections / enzymology*
  • Pseudomonas Infections / microbiology
  • Pulmonary Alveoli / cytology
  • Pulmonary Alveoli / enzymology
  • Therapeutic Irrigation
  • Time Factors


  • Pancreatic Elastase