Effect of combined human neutrophil cathepsin G and elastase on induction of secretory cell metaplasia and emphysema in hamsters, with in vitro observations on elastolysis by these enzymes

Am Rev Respir Dis. 1985 Aug;132(2):362-6. doi: 10.1164/arrd.1985.132.2.362.


To determine whether purified human neutrophil cathepsin G (Cat-G) can act by itself or in concert with purified human neutrophil elastase (HNE) in the induction of emphysema and bronchial secretory cell metaplasia (SCM), we gave golden Syrian hamsters 100 micrograms of HNE alone or in combination with either 100 or 200 micrograms of Cat-G. Other groups of animals received intratracheal doses of up to 600 micrograms of Cat-G alone. The severity of emphysema was determined from measurements of lung volumes, compliance, forced expiratory flow, and the mean linear intercept. The severity of SCM in the main airways was graded on sections stained by the alcian blue and periodic acid-Schiff reaction. The Cat-G was a weak inducer of SCM; significant SCM was produced by 400 and 600 micrograms but not by 100 or 200 micrograms or 200 micrograms of Cat-G. The Cat-G (100 and 200 micrograms) did not potentiate the SCM induced by 100 micrograms of HNE. The Cat-G alone did not produce emphysema, and neither 100 nor 200 micrograms of Cat-G potentiated the mild emphysema induced by 100 micrograms of HNE. These results were not consonant with a report that Cat-G and HNE were synergistic in solubilizing human lung elastin. We therefore measured the ability of Cat-G and HNE to solubilize several radiolabeled elastins. The combination of Cat-G and HNE did not solubilize significantly more hamster lung elastin (23%) than the sum of their individual activities.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bronchi / pathology*
  • Cathepsin G
  • Cathepsins / blood
  • Cathepsins / physiology*
  • Cricetinae
  • Elastin / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Metaplasia / metabolism
  • Neutrophils / enzymology*
  • Pancreatic Elastase / blood
  • Pancreatic Elastase / physiology*
  • Pulmonary Emphysema / etiology
  • Pulmonary Emphysema / metabolism*
  • Serine Endopeptidases


  • Elastin
  • Cathepsins
  • Serine Endopeptidases
  • CTSG protein, human
  • Cathepsin G
  • Pancreatic Elastase