Journal of Applied Physiology

Role of neutrophil elastase in allergen-induced lysozyme secretion in the dog trachea

E. Tabachnik, A. Schuster, W. M. Gold, J. A. Nadel


To test our hypothesis that neutrophil elastase plays a role in airway hypersecretion associated with the allergic late-phase response, using an isolated tracheal segment system in vivo and measuring lysozyme activity in the perfusate of the lumen as a marker of submucosal gland secretion over 8 h, we studied the response of five allergic dogs to ragweed. The dogs were exposed on separate occasions to specific allergen, to allergen vehicle, and to allergen in the presence of a selective neutrophil elastase inhibitor, ICI 200,355. Allergen exposure caused a marked increase in lysozyme secretion that was significantly increased at 4, 6, and 8 h compared with controls and ICI 200,355-treated dogs. Neutrophil elastase appeared in the perfusate after allergen exposure and was positively correlated with lysozyme secretion at 8 h. These findings suggest that neutrophil elastase plays an important role as a secretagogue in the allergic late-phase response.