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Paradoxically decreased intracellular collagenase activity in macrophages from bronchoalveolar lavage fluid in current smokers and patients with obstructive ventilatory disorder

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The roles of matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) have been studied. Macrophages are considered to release MMPs in the lung tissue. We measured intracellular collagenase activity in intact CD14+CD45++ cells from the bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) of patients with obstructive ventilatory impairment and other respiratory diseases. Collagenase activity in current smokers was significantly lower than those in non-smokers (3.25±0.54 versus 5.48±0.55; P=0.006), and also lower than those in ex-smokers (versus 6.54±1.54; P=0.019). We found a lower activity of collagenase in patients with FEV1/FVC below 70% than those with 70% or higher (2.68±0.59 versus 4.51±0.44; P=0.034). Mean value of FEV1/FVC in patients with collagenase activity of 4 or higher was significantly elevated as compared to those with the activity lower than 4 (83.3±3.3 versus 71.8±4.9; P=0.021). The discrepancy between increased release of MMPs by previous reports and decreased intracellular activity in our results, may be explained by the production of inactive form of MMPs is relatively increased in COPD. Our study may provide the future direction in investigating the mechanism of COPD. In clinics, this measurement in patients with smoking habits may be helpful to advise them to stop smoking, and to avoid progression to the irreversible obstructive disease.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: First Department of Internal Medicine, Tokyo Medical University, Tokyo 160-0023, Japan

Publication date: June 1, 2004

More about this publication?
  • The International Journal of Molecular Medicine is a monthly, peer-reviewed journal devoted to the publication of high quality studies related to the molecular mechanisms of human disease. The journal welcomes research on all aspects of molecular and clinical research, ranging from biochemistry to immunology, pathology, genetics, human genomics, microbiology, molecular pathogenesis, molecular cardiology, molecular surgery and molecular psychology.

    The International Journal of Molecular Medicine aims to provide an insight for researchers within the community in regard to developing molecular tools and identifying molecular targets for the diagnosis and treatment of a diverse number of human diseases.
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