Secretory leukocyte protease inhibitor, but not alpha-1 protease inhibitor, blocks tryptase-induced bronchoconstriction

R. M. Forteza, A. Ahmed, T. Lee, W. M. Abraham

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Alpha-1-protease inhibitor (α1-PI) and secretory leukocyte protease inhibitor (SLPI) are two natural airway serine protease inhibitors. While inhibition of neutrophil elastase is a function common to both α1PI and SLPI, we showed previously that they exhibit different patterns of protection against antigen-induced changes in airway function in allergic sheep. Specifically, the protective effect seen with SLPI was similar to the profile of action of synthetic tryptase inhibitors in the model. Based on these data, and the fact that tryptase is a serine protease, we hypothesized that SLPI, but not α1-PI, would block tryptase-induced bronchoconstriction. To test this, we compared the responses to inhaled tryptase in five sheep without treatment or after treatment with either aerosol α1-PI (10 mg) or aerosol SLPI (50 mg). The doses of α1-PI and SLPI selected had been shown to be effective in previous antigen-provocation studies. Treatments were given 30 rain before aerosol challenge with tryptase (500 ng). Tryptase alone increased (mean ± SEM) pulmonary resistance (RL) 142 ± 24% over baseline. Pretreatment with α1-PI had no effect on the tryptase response (RL increased 122 ± 20%). Pretreatment with SLPI, however, blocked the tryptase-induced response (RL increased only 40 ± 4%; P<0.05 vs. tryptase). These are the first studies comparing the inhibitory activity of SLPI and α1-PI on inhaled tryptase-induced bronchoconstriction. We conclude that, in vivo, SLPI, but not α1-PI, can block tryptase-induced bronchoconstriction and that this activity may explain the differential effects of these two serine protease inhibitors on antigen-induced airway responses in allergic sheep,

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)107-110
Number of pages4
JournalPulmonary Pharmacology and Therapeutics
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • Anti-proteases
  • Asthma
  • Serine proteases
  • Sheep

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Pharmacology


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