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Pediatr Nephrol. 1992 Jan;6(1):50-3.

Neutrophil activation in the haemolytic uraemic syndrome: free and complexed elastase in plasma.

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Department of Paediatric Nephrology, Institute of Child Health, London, UK.


There is evidence of neutrophil involvement in the pathogenesis of the haemolytic uraemic syndrome (HUS), and neutrophil release products are thought to cause endothelial cell damage. Elastase is the major lysosomal proteinase liberated by activated neutrophils. In this study we measured both free and complexed elastase. No free elastase activity could be detected in the plasma of patients with diarrhoea-associated (D+) HUS using a specific substrate. However, there was a marked increase in alpha 1-antitrypsin (alpha 1-AT) complexed elastase as measured by a newly developed enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay not only in D+ HUS, but also in non-diarrhoea-associated (D-) HUS. This finding is independent of either a high polymorphonuclear leucocyte count or renal failure. This increase in bound elastase together with our sequential data which demonstrate raised alpha 1-AT complexed elastase levels early in the disease process further support the theory that neutrophil activation is one of the key events in the pathophysiology of this disorder.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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