Leukocytic cell sources of airway tissue kallikrein

Isabel T. Lauredo, Rosanna M. Forteza, Yelena Botvinnikova, William M. Abraham

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Lung tissue kallikrein (TK) is a serine proteinase that putatively plays a role in the pathophysiology of asthma by generating kallidin and bradykinin, mediators that contribute to airway hyperresponsiveness. In previous studies we observed biphasic increases in TK activity in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid following airway allergen challenge in allergic sheep. Although glandular TK is likely a major source of the initial increase in TK, the sources of the late increases in TK that are associated with the development of airway hyperresponsiveness may be dependent on activated resident and recruited inflammatory cells including alveolar macrophages (AMs) and neutrophils (PMNs). These cells increase concomitantly with the late increases in TK activity. To test this hypothesis, we obtained AMs from bronchoalveolar lavage fluid and PMNs and monocytes (precursors of AMs) from sheep blood and determined whether these cells contained TK and whether these same cells could release TK upon activation. Using confocal microscopy, immunocytochemical techniques, and enzyme activity assays, we found that all three cell types contained and secreted TK. All three cell types demonstrated basal release of TK, which could be increased after stimulation with zymosan. In addition, PMNs also released TK in the presence of phorbol ester, suggesting multiple secretory pathways in these cells. Furthermore, we showed that human monocytes also contain and secrete TK. We conclude that in the airways, monocytes, PMNs, and AMs may contribute to increased TK activity. Knowing the sources of TK in the airways could be important in understanding the mechanisms of inflammation that contribute to the pathophysiology of asthma and may help in the development of new therapies to control the disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)L734-L740
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Lung Cellular and Molecular Physiology
Issue number4 30-4
StatePublished - Apr 2004


  • Airway hyperresponsiveness
  • Asthma
  • Inflammation
  • Macrophages
  • Neutrophils
  • Serine proteases

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Cell Biology
  • Physiology


Dive into the research topics of 'Leukocytic cell sources of airway tissue kallikrein'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this