Age-dependent variations of human PMNL elastase activity as a function of pH, ionic strength and calcium concentration

Zsuzsa Varga, Joelle Saulnier, Mátyás Hauck, Jean M. Wallach, Tamas Fülöp

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Citations (Scopus)


Human leukocyte elastase (HLE) has been implicated in the pathomechanism of various diseases, such as emphysema and atherosclerosis. The incidence of these diseases is increasing with aging. Therefore, it can be supposed that the HLE activity is changing with aging according to the well known age-related physiological alterations. Thus, the effects of pH, NaCl and calcium concentrations on HLE activity, separated from polymorphonculear leucocytes (PMNLs) of healthy, young (<35 years) and elderly (>75 years) subjects, were studied by measuring the activity with synthetic substrate and with bovine and human atherosclerotic and non-atherosclerotic aortic elastin. From our results, it may be concluded, that the elastolytic activity of HLE separated from PMNLs of elderly subjects is more sensitive to ionic strength, to pH and to the calcium concentration of the medium, than the HLE activity of young subjects. The elastolytic activity of HLE, of both young and old subjects, increases dramatically on atherosclerotic aortic elastin in the presence of calcium. These findings might explain, at least partly, the increased incidence of atherosclerosis with aging.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)273-281
Number of pages9
JournalArchives of Gerontology and Geriatrics
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 1992


  • Aging
  • Calcium
  • Elastin
  • Human leukocyte elastase
  • PMNLs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Ageing
  • Gerontology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology

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