Elastase release from human alveolar macrophages: comparison between smokers and nonsmokers

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Science  21 Oct 1977:
Vol. 198, Issue 4314, pp. 313-314
DOI: 10.1126/science.910131


Alveolar macrophages from smokers, in contrast to those of non-smokers, release elastase into serum-free culture medium. Since enzymes that digest elastin produce pulmonary emphysema in experimental animals, release of elastase by alveolar macrophages from smokers suggests that these cells are important in the pathogenesis of emphysema of smokers.