University of Helsinki, Helsinki 2006
Matrix proteinases in lung injury in the preterm infant
Doctoral dissertation, September 2006.
During inflammation, excess production and release of matrix proteinases, including matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) and serine proteinases, may result in dysregulated extracellular proteolysis leading to development of tissue damage. Pulmonary inflammation may play an important role in the pathogenesis of lung injury in the preterm infant. The aims of this study were to evaluate involvement of MMPs and serine proteinase trypsin in acute and chronic lung injury in preterm infants and to study the role of these enzymes in acute lung injury by means of an animal model of hyperoxic lung injury.
Molecular forms and levels of MMP-2, -8, and -9, and their specific inhibitor, tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinases (TIMP)-2, as well as trypsin were studied in tracheal aspirate fluid (TAF) samples collected from preterm infants with respiratory distress. Expression and distribution of trypsin-2 and proteinase-activated receptor 2 (PAR2) was examined in autopsy lung specimens from fetuses, from preterm infants with respiratory distress syndrome (RDS) or bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD), and from newborn infants without lung injury.
We detected higher MMP-8 and trypsin-2 and lower TIMP-2 in TAF from preterm infants with more severe acute respiratory distress. Infants subsequently developing BPD had higher levels of MMP-8 and trypsin-2 early postnatally than did those who survived without this chronic lung injury. Immunohistochemically, trypsin-2 was mainly detectable in bronchial epithelium, but also in alveolar epithelium, and its expression was strongest in prolonged RDS. Since trypsin-2 is potent activator of PAR2, a G-protein coupled receptor involved in inflammation, we studied PAR2 expression in the lung. PAR2 co-localized with trypsin-2 in bronchoalveolar epithelium and its expression was significantly higher in bronchoalveolar epithelium in preterm infants with prolonged RDS than in newborn controls.
In the experimental study, rats were exposed to >95% oxygen for 24, 48, and 60 hours, or room air. At 48 hours of hyperoxia, MMP-8 and trypsin levels sharply increased in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid, and expression of trypsin appeared in alveolar epithelium, and MMP-8 predominantly in macrophages.
In conclusion, high pulmonary MMP-8 and trypsin-2 early postnatally are associated with severity of acute lung injury and subsequent development of BPD in preterm infants. In the injured preterm lung, trypsin-2 co-localizes with PAR2 in bronchoalveolar epithelium, suggesting that PAR2 activated by high levels of trypsin-2 is involved in lung inflammation associated with development of BPD. Marked increase in MMP-8 and trypsin early in the course of experimental hyperoxic lung injury suggests that these enzymes play a role in the pathogenesis of acute lung injury. Further exploration of the roles of trypsin and MMP-8 in lung injury may offer new targets for therapeutic intervention.
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© University of Helsinki 2006
Last updated 11.08.2006