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BioMed Research International
Volume 2017, Article ID 8287125, 13 pages
Research Article

Plant Proteinase Inhibitor BbCI Modulates Lung Inflammatory Responses and Mechanic and Remodeling Alterations Induced by Elastase in Mice

1Department of Medicine, School of Medicine, University of São Paulo, São Paulo, SP, Brazil
2Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA
3Department of Biochemistry, Federal University of São Paulo, São Paulo, SP, Brazil
4Department of Biological Sciences, Federal University of São Paulo, São Paulo, SP, Brazil
5The Lovelace Respiratory Research Institute, Albuquerque, NM, USA

Correspondence should be addressed to Iolanda F. L. C. Tibério; rb.moc.lou@ovlacoi

Received 18 August 2016; Revised 20 February 2017; Accepted 9 March 2017; Published 30 March 2017

Academic Editor: Anastasia Kotanidou

Copyright © 2017 Rafael Almeida-Reis et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background. Proteinases play a key role in emphysema. Bauhinia bauhinioides cruzipain inhibitor (BbCI) is a serine-cysteine proteinase inhibitor. We evaluated BbCI treatment in elastase-induced pulmonary alterations. Methods.  C57BL/6 mice received intratracheal elastase (ELA group) or saline (SAL group). One group of mice was treated with BbCI (days 1, 15, and 21 after elastase instillation, ELABC group). Controls received saline and BbCI (SALBC group). After 28 days, we evaluated respiratory mechanics, exhaled nitric oxide, and bronchoalveolar lavage fluid. In lung tissue we measured airspace enlargement, quantified neutrophils, TNFα-, MMP-9-, MMP-12-, TIMP-1-, iNOS-, and eNOS-positive cells, 8-iso-PGF2α, collagen, and elastic fibers in alveolar septa and airways. MUC-5-positive cells were quantified only in airways. Results. BbCI reduced elastase-induced changes in pulmonary mechanics, airspace enlargement and elastase-induced increases in total cells, and neutrophils in BALF. BbCI reduced macrophages and neutrophils positive cells in alveolar septa and neutrophils and TNFα-positive cells in airways. BbCI attenuated elastic and collagen fibers, MMP-9- and MMP-12-positive cells, and isoprostane and iNOS-positive cells in alveolar septa and airways. BbCI reduced MUC5ac-positive cells in airways. Conclusions. BbCI improved lung mechanics and reduced lung inflammation and airspace enlargement and increased oxidative stress levels induced by elastase. BbCI may have therapeutic potential in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.