Hydrolysis of peripheral leucine enkephalin in allergic asthma

Lionello Fuso, Mario Marini, Marina Marzano, Bernardino Nardecchia, L. Giorgio Roda, Paolo Rossi, Alessandra Urbani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Plasma hydrolysis of leucine enkephalin was studied in a group of patients affected by seasonal allergic asthma in acute and quiescent stage; data were compared with those obtained from a control group of healthy volunteers. Results obtained indicate a statistically significant reduction of leu-enkephalin hydrolysis in allergic subjects. In the quiescent stage, substrate degradation is reduced, and the pattern of the hydrolysis by- products is modified with respect to normal controls. In the acute stage, hydrolysis is further reduced, and the pattern of the hydrolysis by-products is further modified with respect to the quiescent stage. The variations of leu-enkephalin hydrolysis appear to be controlled by decreased activity of proteolytic enzymes and by increased activity of the low-molecular-weight plasma inhibitors active on these enzymes. The sum of these processes is conducive to a distribution of enkephalin-hydrolyzing enzymes, as well as a hydrolysis pattern, that appears to he specific for the allergic subjects and distinct from that seen in the controls.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)411-419
Number of pages9
JournalClinical Immunology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1999


  • Allergy
  • Asthma
  • Enzyme inhibitors
  • Opioid peptides
  • Plasma proteolysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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