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Clin Chim Acta. 1998 Mar 9;271(1):45-56.

Proteinases and proteinase inhibitors during the development of pulmonary fibrosis in rat.

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Institute of Physiological Chemistry, Medical Faculty Carl Gustav Carus, Dresden University of Technology, Germany.


Changes in the activities of several proteinases and their inhibitors were investigated during the development of bleomycin-induced pulmonary fibrosis in rat. Studies on the proteinase-anti-proteinase-ratio may contribute to the understanding of the mechanism of the development of pulmonary fibrosis and may help to develop therapeutic strategies to prevent tissue damage by proteolytic attack. In the acute inflammatory period the activity of metalloelastase in lung tissue increased by about 10-fold. The time course of changes in the activity of 72 kD gelatinase indicates that this gelatinase accounts at least partially for the elastolytic activity. Elastase inhibitory activity in lung tissue showed maxima at days 1 and 5 and high levels in the fibrotic phase. The increase of the elastase inhibitory activity at the beginning of the fibrotic period corresponds with elevated activity of alpha 2-macroglobulin. Alveolar fluid and alveolar macrophages did not contain elastase activity but contained high elastase inhibitory activity. During the period of chronic inflammation, the activities of the cathepsins L, B, H and S in lung tissue and in isolated alveolar macrophages were found to be strongly increased.

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