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Neutrophils Mediate Acute Lung Injury in Rabbits: Role of Neutrophil Elastase

Kinoshita M. · Ono S. · Mochizuki H.
Department of Surgery I, National Defense Medical College, Tokorozawa, Japan Eur Surg Res 2000;32:337–346 (DOI:10.1159/000052215)

Abstract

We investigated the roles of neutrophil and neutrophil elastase in acute lung injury (ALI) to elucidate the mechanism of ALI. We designed two protocols. Protocol I: Experimental ALI was induced by endotoxin (0.02 mg/kg) and platelet-activating factor (8 µg/kg/4 h) in untreated rabbits (control group I), in neutropenic rabbits pretreated with nitrogen-N-oxide hydrochloride, and in untreated rabbits infused with a neutrophil elastase inhibitor (ONO-5046; 20 mg/kg/4 h). Protocol II: ALI was induced by smaller doses of endotoxin (0.015 mg/kg) and platelet-activating factor (7 µg/kg/4 h) than those used in protocol I in untreated rabbits (control group II), in neutrophilic rabbits pretreated with human recombinant granulocyte colony-stimulating factor, and in neutrophilic rabbits infused with ONO-5046 (as in protocol I). The severity of ALI was assessed by the protein concentration, the elastase activity in the bronchoalveolar lavage fluid, and the histologic pulmonary edema ratio. The degree of pulmonary neutrophil accumulation was assessed by pulmonary myeloperoxidase activity and histological findings. Both ALI and pulmonary neutrophil accumulation were suppressed by neutropenia (protocol I), while they were exacerbated by neutrophilia (protocol II). The neutrophil elastase inhibitor could suppress ALI, but it could not suppress pulmonary neutrophil accumulation in both untreated and neutrophilic rabbits (protocols I and II). These findings indicate that neutrophils play an important role in the pathogenesis of ALI via neutrophil elastase.

 

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