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Keywords:

  • Bronchopulmonary dysplasia;
  • cathepsin K;
  • chronic lung disease

Abstract

The expression of a potent collagenolytic enzyme, cathepsin K, was measured in repeated tracheal aspirate samples from premature infants with and without a chronic lung disorder, bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD). At 9–13 d, but not before, cathepsin K expression was significantly lower in the lungs of premature infants developing BPD. Conclusion: Insufficient pulmonary cathepsin K in BPD may predispose premature lungs to pulmonary fibrosis.