The relationship between lysosomal proteases activity (elastase and cathepsin B) and levels of mucous glycoproteins in middle ear effusions (MEEs) was studied using a cat model of otitis media with effusion (OME) induced by Eustachian tube obstruction (ETO). The ratio of cathepsin B activity to total protein concentration (TPC) in MEE was 25.6 ±19.4 RFU/g×dl-1 at 1 week after ETO, and increased with the duration of OME. The ratio of elastase activity to TPC had a significant correlation to total leukocyte count. The ratio of fucose levels to TPC, which is one of the parameters reflecting levels of mucous glycoprotein, at 1 week after ETO was significantly higher than that at both 2 and 4 weeks after ETO. The percentage of glycoprotein levels absorbed to wheat germ lectin was highest at 1 week after ETO, and decreased with the duration of OME. In conclusion, mucous glycoproteins in cat occupy a larger portion of glycoproteins in MEE at the early stage of OME, and elastase and other lysosomal proteases may play a role in both stimulation of mucin release from goblet cells and mucin degradation. The balance of these processes seems to be a key factor determining mucin levels in MEEs.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported by a Grant-in-aid for General Scientific Research (B) 62480355 from the Ministry of Education, Science and Culture of Japan.
- Eustachian tube obstruction
- Experimental otitis media
- Lysosomal proteases
- Mucous glycoprotein