Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Clin Invest. 1996 Jun 1;97(11):2452-68.

Elafin, a serine elastase inhibitor, attenuates post-cardiac transplant coronary arteriopathy and reduces myocardial necrosis in rabbits afer heterotopic cardiac transplantation.

Author information

Division of Cardiovascular Research, Research Institute, The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.


We have related experimentally induced post-cardiac transplant coronary arteriopathy to increased elastolytic activity, IL-1beta, fibronectin-mediated inflammatory and smooth muscle cell (SMC) migration, and SMC proliferation. Since our in vitro studies show that a serine elastase releases SMC mitogens and facilitates IL-lbeta induction of fibronectin, we hypothesized that administration in vivo of the specific serine elastase inhibitor, elafin, would decrease the post-cardiac transplant coronary arteriopathy. Cholesterol-fed rabbits underwent a heterotopic cardiac transplant without immunosuppression and received elafin (1.79 mg/kg per d continuous infusion after a 9 mg bolus, n = 6) or vehicle (n = 6). 1 wk later, hearts were harvested for morphometric, immunohistochemical, and biochemical analyses. A > 70% decrease in the total number of coronary arteries with intimal thickening in elafin-treated compared to control donor hearts (P < 0.002) was associated with reduced vascular elastolytic activity judged by fewer breaks in the internal elastic lamina (P < 0.03), less accumulation of immunoreactive fibronectin (P < 0.02), and reduced cell proliferation quantified by proliferating cell nuclear antigen (P < 0.0001). Despite myocardial lymphocytic infiltration, wet weight of elafin-treated donor hearts was reduced by 50% compared to untreated controls (P < 0.002) and associated with relative preservation of myocyte integrity, instead of extensive myocardial necrosis (P < 0.004). This protective effect correlated with decreased myocardial elastolytic activity (P < 0.0001) and inflammatory cell proliferation (P < 0.0001) and with an elafin-inhibitable elastase in lymphocytes. Serine elastase activity thus appears an important therapeutic target for post-cardiac transplant coronary arteriopathy and myocardial necrosis induced by rejection.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for American Society for Clinical Investigation Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Support Center