Proteolytic Enzyme Systems

  • M. Jochum
  • W. Machleidt
  • H. Fritz


Sepsis has traditionally been defined as a systemic inflammatory reaction of the organism to gramnegative bacterial leading to septic shock and even tually to (septic) multi-organ failure. Interestingly, it has become evident that the final common pathways of multi-organ failure initiated by trauma or by infection are very similar involving basically the same humoral and cell-dependent effectors and mediators. Amongst these, proteolytic enzyme systems have been suggested to play an equally im portant role in the course of sepsis-like syndrome and trauma-induced inflammatory response. As outlined in the chapter by Jochum et al. (pp 46–60), the lysosomal serine proteinase elastase and the cysteine proteinases cathepsins B and L of the primary inflammatory cells, polymorpho nuclear (PMN) granulocytes and monocytes/ macrophages, respectively, are thought to be par ticularly potent effectors of proteolytic tissue damage if they are discharged extracellularly in high amounts during activation and disintegration of the phagocytes due to multiple trauma or sepsis. The initial mechanisms of stimulation in these in flammatory processes, however, are significantly different. Bacterial endotoxin and other bacterial products, e.g., exotoxins, N-formylated peptides, and bacterial proteinases but also antigen-antibody complexes have been identified as potent stimula tors of the inflammatory response to infection.


Septic Shock Septic Patient Neutrophil Elastase Endotoxin Shock Elastase Level 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. Jochum
    • 1
  • W. Machleidt
    • 2
  • H. Fritz
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Clinical Chemistry and Clinical Biochemistry in the Department of Surgery, Klinikum InnenstadtUniversity of MunichMunich 2Germany
  2. 2.Institute of Physiological Chemistry, Physical Biochemistry and Cell BiologyUniversity of MunichMunich 2Germany

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