Protective effects of neuropeptide Y against elastase-induced pulmonary emphysema

Akihiko Taniguchi, Naohiro Oda, Daisuke Morichika, Satoru Senoo, Junko Itano, Utako Fujii, Lili Guo, Ryota Sunami, Katsuyuki Kiura, Yoshinobu Maeda, Nobuaki Miyahara

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Neuropeptide Y (NPY) is a neuropeptide widely expressed in not only the central nervous system but also immune cells and the respiratory epithelium. Patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) reportedly exhibit decreased NPY expression in the airway epithelium, but the involvement of NPY in the pathophysiology of COPD has not been defined. We investigated the role of NPY in elastase-induced emphysema. NPY-deficient (NPY-/-) mice and wild-type (NPY / ) mice received intratracheal instillation of porcine pancreas elastase (PPE). The numbers of inflammatory cells and the levels of cytokines and chemokines in the bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluid and lung homogenates were determined along with quantitative morphometry of lung sections. Intratracheal instillation of PPE induced emphysematous changes and increased NPY levels in the lungs. Compared with NPY / mice, NPY-/- mice had significantly enhanced PPE-induced emphysematous changes and alveolar enlargement. Neutrophilia seen in BAL fluid of NPY / mice on day 4 after PPE instillation was also enhanced in NPY-/- mice, and the enhancement was associated with increased levels of neutrophil-related and macrophage-related chemokines and IL- 17A as well as increased numbers of type 3 innate lymphoid cells in the airways. Treatment with NPY significantly reduced PPEinduced emphysematous changes. Conversely, treatment with a NPY receptor antagonist exacerbated PPE-induced emphysematous changes. These observations indicate that NPY has protective effects against elastase-induced emphysema and suggest that targeting NPY in emphysema has potential as a therapeutic strategy for delaying disease progression.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)L539-L549
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Lung Cellular and Molecular Physiology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2022


  • COPD
  • emphysema
  • IL-17A
  • ILC3
  • NPY

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)
  • Cell Biology


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