Procyanidol oligomers and (+) catechin bound to insoluble elastin markedly affect its rate of degradation by elastases. Insoluble elastin pretreated with procyanidol oligomers (PCO) was resistant to the hydrolysis induced by both porcine pancreatic and human leukocyte elastases. The quantitative adsorption of pancreatic elastase was similar on either untreated or PCO-treated elastin suggesting that the binding of this compound to elastin increases the non-productive catalytic sites of elastase molecules. (+) Catechin-insoluble elastin complexes were partially resistant to the degradation induced by human leukocyte elastase but were hydrolysed at the same rate as untreated samples by a constant amount of pancreatic elastase. In addition, the coacervation profile of kappa-elastin peptides as a function of temperature is greatly modified in presence of these flavonoids. We conclusively evidenced that PCOs bind to skin elastic fibres when injected intradermally into young rabbits. As a result, these elastic fibres were found more resistant to the hydrolytic action of porcine pancreatic elastase when injected to the same site. These in vivo studies further emphasized the potential effect of these compounds in preventing elastin degradation by elastase(s) as occurred in inflammatory processes.