The clinical treatment of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) requires not only an improvement of airflow by bronchodilation but also the suppression of emphysema by controlling inflammation. Here we screen a compound library consisting of clinically used drugs for their ability to prevent elastase-induced airspace enlargement in mice. We show that intratracheal administration or inhalation of mepenzolate bromide, a muscarinic antagonist used to treat gastrointestinal disorders, decreases the severity of elastase-induced airspace enlargement and respiratory dysfunction. Although mepenzolate bromide shows bronchodilatory activity, most other muscarinic antagonists do not improve elastase-induced pulmonary disorders. Apart from suppressing elastase-induced pulmonary inflammatory responses and the production of superoxide anions, mepenzolate bromide reduces the level of cigarette smoke-induced airspace enlargement and respiratory dysfunction. Based on these results, we propose that mepenzolate bromide may be an effective therapeutic for the treatment of COPD due to its anti-inflammatory and bronchodilatory activities.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- General Chemistry
- General Biochemistry,Genetics and Molecular Biology
- General Physics and Astronomy