The role of inter-alpha-trypsin inhibitor and other proteinase inhibitors in the plasma clearance of neutrophil elastase and plasmin.
The plasma clearance of neutrophil elastase, plasmin, and their complexes with human inter-alpha-trypsin inhibitor (I alpha I) was examined in mice, and the distribution of the proteinases among the plasma proteinase inhibitors was quantified in mixtures of purified inhibitors, in human or murine plasma, and in murine plasma following injection of purified proteins. The results demonstrate that I alpha I acts as a shuttle by transferring proteinases to other plasma proteinase inhibitors for clearance, and that I alpha I modulates the distribution of proteinase among inhibitors. The clearance of I alpha I-elastase involved transfer of proteinase to alpha 2-macroglobulin and alpha 1-proteinase inhibitor. The partition of elastase between these inhibitors was altered by I alpha I to favor formation of alpha 2-macroglobulin-elastase complexes. The clearance of I alpha I-plasmin involved transfer of plasmin to alpha 2-macroglobulin and alpha 2-plasmin inhibitor. Results of distribution studies suggest that plasmin binds to endothelium in vivo and reacts with I alpha I before transfer to alpha 2-macroglobulin and alpha 2-plasmin inhibitor. Evidence for this sequence of events includes observations that plasmin in complex with I alpha I cleared faster than free plasmin, that plasma obtained after injection of plasmin contained a complex identified as I alpha I-plasmin, and that a murine I alpha I-plasmin complex remained intact following injection into mice. Plasmin initially in complex with I alpha I more readily associated with alpha 2-plasmin inhibitor than did free plasmin.
Pratt, CW; Roche, PA; Pizzo, SV
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