Inflammatory response to particles in the rat lung: Secretion of acid and neutral proteinases by bronchoalveolar leucocytes

G. M. Brown*, D. M. Brown, K. Donaldson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Leucocyte proteinares are considered to be central to the tissue damage that is associated with chronic inflammatory lung disease. Both acid and neutral proteinases have the ability to degrade connective tissue molecules and both may therefore play a part in tissue proteolysis in inflamed lung. In this study we have used a rat model of lung inflammation to investigate levels of acid and neutral proteinase activity in the bronchoalveolar region of control and inflamed lungs. We assessed the ability of proteinases, secreted by resident and inflammatory bronchoalveolar leucocytes, to damage the connective tissue molecule fibronectin. Inflammatory bronchoalveolar leucocytes had greater ability to mediate connective tissue damage than had resident alveolar macrophages and the tissue proteolysis was mediated, in the main, by proteinases active at neutral rather than at acid pH. The increased secretion of proteinase by inflammatory leucocytes was dependent on in vivo stimulation; exposing resident or inflammatory bronchoalveolar leucocytes in vitro to particulate or soluble stimuli had no effect in increasing them ability to degrade fibronectin or secrete the inflammogenic proteinase, plasminogen activator. Thus, neutrophils in the bronchoalveolar region of the rat lung have proteolytic activity which is mediated largely by neutral proteinases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)389-396
Number of pages8
JournalAnnals of Occupational Hygiene
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1991

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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