Tryptase Enzyme Activity Is Correlated with Severity of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

First Affiliated Hospital of Nanjing Medical University, Nanjing, China.
The Tohoku Journal of Experimental Medicine (Impact Factor: 1.35). 07/2011; 224(3):179-87. DOI: 10.1620/tjem.224.179
Source: PubMed


Tryptic enzymes, including tryptase, a signature enzyme in mast cells, are involved in the pathogenesis of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), a chronic inflammatory airway disease. However, the relationship between tryptase enzyme activity and COPD remains to be investigated. We therefore measured the enzyme activity and immunoreactivity of tryptase in the sputum and plasma of COPD patients in the present study. The results showed that tryptase enzyme activity in the sputum of severe COPD patients (FEV(1)s being recorded at ≤ 30% prediction values) was 3.4 times greater than that in patients with mild COPD (FEV(1)s being recorded at ≥ 80% of predicted values), whereas tryptic activity was 2.0 times higher in the severe COPD patients than in mild COPD patients. Moreover, tryptase enzyme activity, but not tryptic enzyme activity, was significantly elevated in the plasma of severe COPD patients compared with that of mild COPD patients. The level of immunoreactive tryptase was 1.9 times higher in the sputum of the severe COPD patients at admission than that at remission stage. We also employed a rat model of cigarette smoke-induced COPD. After 36 weeks of daily challenges with cigarette smoke, a well-established risk factor of COPD, tryptic and tryptase activities in the bronchoalveolar lavage fluid were elevated 1.5 and 2.6 times, respectively. These results indicate that smoking induces tryptase enzyme activity in the airway. In conclusion, tryptase enzyme activity is markedly increased in sputum and plasma of severe COPD patients. Enhanced tryptase enzyme activity may contribute to the pathogenesis of COPD.

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    • "Kalenderian et al. [19] [20] found that the levels of mast cell mediators, such as histamine and tryptase, are considerably elevated in BALF from smokers. The importance of mast cells is further supported by the fact that mast cell tryptase activity is correlated with the severity of COPD [21], and in COPD patients an accumulation of mast cells in the airways has been observed [22]. Mast cells located here could be exposed to inhaled environmental challenges, and mast cell activation results in the coordinated release of proinflammatory mediators into the surrounding tissue; activation of this cell type may result in pathology associated with chronic inflammatory stimuli [23] [24]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a multicomponent disease characterized by emphysema and/or chronic bronchitis. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of cigarette smoke exposure on mast cells and mast cell function in vitro and in vivo in order to get further insight in the role of mast cells in the pathogenesis of emphysema. Cigarette smoke conditioned medium (CSM) induced the expression of mast cell tryptase (MMCP-6) in primary cultured mast cells. This tryptase expression was caused by the CSM-stimulated production of TGF-β in culture and neutralization of TGF-β suppressed the CSM-induced expression of tryptase in mast cells. An increase in mast cell tryptase expression was also found in an experimental model for emphysema. Exposure of mice to cigarette smoke increased the number of mast cells in the airways and the expression of mast cell tryptase. In accordance with the in vitro findings, TGF-β in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid of smoke-exposed animals was significantly increased. Our study indicates that mast cells may be a source of TGF-β production after cigarette smoke exposure and that in turn TGF-β may change the tryptase expression in mast cells.
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    ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Cigarette smoke-induced chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a life-threatening inflammatory disorder of the lung. The development of effective therapies for COPD has been hampered by the lack of an animal model that mimics the human disease in a short timeframe. OBJECTIVES: We sought to create an early-onset mouse model of cigarette smoke-induced COPD that develops the hallmark features of the human condition in a short time-frame. We also sought to use this model to better understand pathogenesis and the roles of macrophages and mast cells (MCs) in patients with COPD. METHODS: Tightly controlled amounts of cigarette smoke were delivered to the airways of mice, and the development of the pathologic features of COPD was assessed. The roles of macrophages and MC tryptase in pathogenesis were evaluated by using depletion and in vitro studies and MC protease 6-deficient mice. RESULTS: After just 8 weeks of smoke exposure, wild-type mice had chronic inflammation, mucus hypersecretion, airway remodeling, emphysema, and reduced lung function. These characteristic features of COPD were glucocorticoid resistant and did not spontaneously resolve. Systemic effects on skeletal muscle and the heart and increased susceptibility to respiratory tract infections also were observed. Macrophages and tryptase-expressing MCs were required for the development of COPD. Recombinant MC tryptase induced proinflammatory responses from cultured macrophages. CONCLUSION: A short-term mouse model of cigarette smoke-induced COPD was developed in which the characteristic features of the disease were induced more rapidly than in existing models. The model can be used to better understand COPD pathogenesis, and we show a requirement for macrophages and tryptase-expressing MCs.
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