Azzaq Belaaouaj

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Neutrophil granulocytes form the body's first line of antibacterial defense, but they also contribute to tissue injury and noninfectious, chronic inflammation. Proteinase 3 (PR3) and neutrophil elastase (NE) are 2 abundant neutrophil serine proteases implicated in antimicrobial defense with overlapping and potentially redundant substrate specificity. Here,(More)
There is accumulating evidence that following bacterial infection, the massive recruitment and activation of the phagocytes, neutrophils, is accompanied with the extracellular release of active neutrophil elastase (NE), a potent serine protease. Using NE-deficient mice in a clinically relevant model of Pseudomonas aeruginosa-induced pneumonia, we provide(More)
BACKGROUND How elevated temperature is generated during airway infections represents a hitherto unresolved physiological question. We hypothesized that innate immune defence mechanisms would increase luminal airway temperature during pulmonary infection. METHODS We determined the temperature in the exhaled air of cystic fibrosis (CF) patients. To further(More)
Activated neutrophils use myeloperoxidase (MPO) to generate an array of potent toxic oxidants. In the current studies we used genetically altered mice deficient in MPO to investigate the role of the enzyme in host defense against the Gram-negative bacterium Klebsiella pneumoniae, an important human pathogen. For comparison, we used mice deficient in the(More)
In inflammatory diseases, strong release of elastinolytic proteases results in elastin fiber degradation generating elastin peptides (EPs). Chemotactic activity for inflammatory cells was, among wide range of properties, the former identified biological activity exerted by EPs. Recently, we demonstrated the ability of EPs to favor a Th1 cytokine (IL-2,(More)
This general review deals with the mechanisms which underlie the genetic factors in COPD. Many cellular and biochemical mechanisms occur in bronchial inflammation. We present the experimental models of COPD, insisting on the importance of oxydative stress, and on recent knowledge about the lung microbiome. Starting from this pathophysiology basis, we show(More)
Staphylococcus aureus is frequently isolated from lungs of patients with cystic fibrosis (CF). Upon lung infection with S. aureus, airway epithelial cells (AEC) produce high levels of chemokines that enhance T-cell chemotaxis. Although the number of lymphocytes is increased in the airways and bronchoalveolar lavage fluid of patients with CF, the mechanisms(More)
Surfactant protein D (SP-D) plays diverse and important roles in innate immunity and pulmonary homeostasis. Neutrophils and myeloperoxidase (MPO) colocalized with SP-D in a murine bacterial pneumonia model of acute inflammation, suggesting that MPO-derived reactive species might alter the function of SP-D. Exposure of SP-D to the complete(More)
Cigarette smoking is a major factor for the development of pulmonary emphysema because it induces abnormal inflammation and a protease-rich local milieu that causes connective tissue breakdown of the lungs. As a result of its capacity to degrade lung tissue and the high risk of patients lacking α1-antitrypsin to develop emphysema, much interest has focused(More)
According to the widely accepted view, neutrophil elastase (NE), a neutrophil-specific serine protease, is a major contributor to Pseudomonas aeruginosa infection-associated host tissue inflammation and damage, which in severe cases can lead to death. Herein, we provide for the first time compelling evidence that the host rather employs NE to protect itself(More)