Journal Article

Trypsin, elastase, plasmin and MMP-9 activity in the serum during the human ageing process

Leszek Paczek, Wanda Michalska and Irena Bartlomiejczyk

in Age and Ageing

Published on behalf of British Geriatrics Society

Volume 37, issue 3, pages 318-323
Published in print May 2008 | ISSN: 0002-0729
Published online March 2008 | e-ISSN: 1468-2834 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ageing/afn039
Trypsin, elastase, plasmin and MMP-9 activity in the serum during the human ageing process

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Objective: the aim of this work was to define the influence of the ageing process on the activity of proteolytic enzymes, such as trypsin, elastase, plasmin and active MMP-9 concentration, as well as the inhibitor α 1-antitrypsin. Moreover, we assessed associations between enzyme activity and selected clinical and biochemical parameters.

Methods: healthy normotensive volunteers (n = 60, 30 women) aged 20–82 years were split into subgroups: young (aged 20–22), middle-aged (49–52) and elderly (77–82). Serum enzyme activity was assessed using fluorometric methods.

Results: overall, active MMP-9 concentration and trypsin activity decreased with age, and α1-antitrypsin concentration and plasmin activity increased. Activity of elastase increased with age when compared to the young age group. An inverse correlation was identified between MMP-9 concentration and BMI and a direct correlation found between BMI and elastase, plasmin activity and α1-antitrypsin concentration. In the middle-aged group, glucose correlated directly with trypsin activity and inversely with MMP-9 concentration. Trypsin activity and MMP-9 concentration correlated inversely with cholesterol concentration and plasmin and elastase activity, and the α1-antitrypsin concentration correlated with cholesterol concentration in the overall group.

Conclusions: the results confirm the influence of the ageing process on the activity of serum proteolytic enzymes. The activity of individual proteolytic enzymes in the serum changes with age.

Keywords: ageing; trypsin; plasmin; elastase; metalloproteinases

Journal Article.  3636 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Geriatric Medicine

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