Secretory leukoprotease inhibitor attenuates lung injury induced by continuous air embolization into sheep

J. R. Gossage, E. A. Perkett, J. M. Davidson, B. C. Starcher, D. Carmichael, K. L. Brigham, B. Meyrick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Continuous air embolization (CAE) into the pulmonary arterial circulation of sheep results in functional and structural changes of chronic pulmonary hypertension. Release of elastin peptides into lung lymph during CAE and attenuation of CAE-induced pulmonary hypertension by neutrophil depletion suggest that neutrophil elastase may contribute to these changes. To investigate this notion, we treated awake sheep with a potent neutrophil elastase inhibitor, recombinant secretory leukoprotease inhibitor (SLPI) (100 mg/day by aerosol), during 12 days of CAE (CAE + SLPI; n = 7). Controls included sheep receiving CAE + vehicle (VEH) (n = 6), VEH alone (n = 3), and SLPI alone (n = 3). SLPI significantly attenuated the CAE-induced increases in lung lymph flow (day 8; 2.3 ± 0.5 vs. 5.6 ± 1.7 ml/15 min), protein clearance (day 8; 1.36 ± 0.32 vs. 3.08 ± 0.84 ml/15 min), and elastin peptide concentration (day 8; 243 ± 41 vs. 398 ± 44 ng/ml). SLPI delayed the onset of sustained pulmonary hypertension from day 8 to day 12. Both CAE groups showed similar structural changes in the pulmonary arteries. SLPI was well tolerated in control sheep and did not affect hemodynamics or structure. We conclude that serine proteases may contribute to the early initiation of chronic pulmonary hypertension but do not play a striking role in its eventual development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1163-1172
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Applied Physiology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1995


  • aerosol
  • chronic pulmonary hypertension
  • elastase inhibitor
  • elastin
  • lung lymph
  • neutrophil elastase

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


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