Neutrophils have been implicated as important cellular mediators of the pulmonary dysfunction observed following endotoxemia in chronically instrumented awake sheep. Several areas of research suggest that neutrophil- derived proteases may be mediators of this dysfunction. We hypothesized that neutrophil elastase inhibitors would attenuate the effects of endotoxemia in sheep. To test this hypothesis, we studied the effects of two putative neutrophil elastase inhibitors, SC-37698 and SC-39026 (Searle, Skokie, IL), on endotoxin-induced lung dysfunction in awake sheep. Sheep were given intravenous neutrophil elastase inhibitor alone (20 mg/kg/h for 6 h), intravenous endotoxin (E. coli endotoxin, 0.5 μg/kg over 20 min) 1 h after beginning the 6-h infusion of elastase inhibitor, or endotoxin 1 h after beginning a 6-h infusion of elastase inhibitor vehicle. SC-37698 attenuated the increase in lung lymph flow and lung lymph protein clearance, the alterations in lung mechanics, and the fall in white blood count. Qualitatively similar effects were seen with SC-39026. These data suggest the need for further research examining the role of protease-antiprotease interactions and the potential utility of neutrophil elastase inhibitors in acute lung injury like that observed in the adult respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) in the human.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine