Emphysema and bronchial secretory cell metaplasia induced in hamsters by human neutrophil products

Am Rev Respir Dis. 1984 Jan;129(1):155-60. doi: 10.1164/arrd.1984.129.1.155.


Purified human neutrophil elastase (HNE) and a crude extract of human neutrophils (EXT) were administered intratracheally to hamsters, and their effects were determined 21 and 56 days later by measurement of lung statics and dynamics and by light microscopy and morphometry of the lungs. A dose of 450 micrograms of HNE (HNE 450) produced focal emphysema of moderate severity. The combination of HNE 450 and EXT (HNE 450 + EXT) produced no more severe emphysema than HNE 450 alone; EXT alone did not produce emphysema. The HNE 450, HNE 450 + EXT, and EXT all produced persistent secretory cell metaplasia in large intrapulmonary airways. In a second experiment, 40 micrograms of HNE (elastolytic activity equivalent to that in EXT), designated HNE 40, did not produce secretory cell metaplasia. Neither EXT nor EXT treated with the elastase inhibitor suc-ala-ala-pro-val chloromethyl ketone (EXT + CMK), which had a residual elastolytic activity equivalent to 15 micrograms of HNE, produced emphysema; both preparations caused bronchial secretory cell metaplasia 21 days after treatment. Values of maximal expiratory flow, measured 21 days after treatment, were reduced at points between 20 and 50% of vital capacity for HNE 450 and between 30 and 80% of vital capacity for HNE 450 + EXT; maximal expiratory flows were not significantly different from saline controls for HNE 40, EXT, or EXT + CMK.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bronchi / metabolism
  • Bronchi / pathology*
  • Cell Count
  • Cell Extracts / toxicity*
  • Cricetinae
  • Lung / pathology
  • Male
  • Mesocricetus
  • Metaplasia
  • Neutrophils*
  • Pancreatic Elastase / toxicity*
  • Pulmonary Emphysema / etiology*
  • Pulmonary Emphysema / pathology
  • Pulmonary Emphysema / physiopathology
  • Respiratory Function Tests
  • Tissue Extracts / toxicity*


  • Cell Extracts
  • Tissue Extracts
  • Pancreatic Elastase