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Clin Exp Immunol. 2004 Oct;138(1):14-20.

Macrophages are a source of extracellular adenosine deaminase-2 during inflammatory responses.

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  • 1Department of Physiology and Biophysics, University of Illinois College of Medicine, Chicago, IL 60612, USA.


Serum activity of the adenosine deaminase (ADA) isozyme, ADA2, has been reported to be elevated during various disease states. Macrophages have been suggested as the cellular source of extracellular ADA activity because they are one of the only cell types in which intracellular ADA2 activity has been measured, but extracellular secretion has never been demonstrated. Rat primary peritoneal macrophages (PPMs) and peripheral blood monocytes (PBMs) were harvested and incubated for 18 h in RPMI supplemented with horse serum. PPM and PBM lysates were assayed for intracellular ADA activity (ammonia production). In vitro and in vivo extracellular ADA activities were measured in media and rat serum, respectively. Activity of ADA1 was confirmed by selective inhibition with erythro-9-(2-hydroxy-3-nonyl) adenine (EHNA). ADA2 activity was inhibited by 2'-deoxycoformcin only, and was increased at a low pH (6.5). Activity of both ADA isozymes was found in PPMs and PBMs, and their media. In a separate group of rats, peritonitis was induced by ip insertion of 400 mg/kg caecal slurry. PPMs were harvested 24 h later and incubated for 18 h. In PPMs from rats with peritonitis both isozymes were elevated by a similar proportion. In contrast, media from these PPMs had a lower ADA1 and a higher ADA2 activity compared to PPMs from nonseptic rats. This resulted in a greater proportion of ADA2 in media. The isozyme proportions in serum from septic rats more closely resembled that of the PPM media. The response of PBM was small relative to that of PPM. These results suggest that macrophages are a significant source of extracellular ADA isozymes, the activity of which increases during an inflammatory response. Because extracellular isozymes profiles differ from cellular concentrations, the data also suggest differential release of each isozyme from PPMs.

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