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Clin Exp Immunol. 1986 Dec;66(3):691-700.

Circulating serum amyloid P component is the precursor of amyloid P component in tissue amyloid deposits.


Intravenous administration of 125I-labelled isolated mouse serum amyloid P component (SAP) to mice with systemic amyloidosis was followed by specific deposition of the labelled protein in amyloidotic organs. Although only a small proportion of the total injected dose became localized in this way, the amount correlated with the quantity of amyloid present in different organs and was greatest in the spleen. No such localization was detected in the organs of control, untreated mice or animals which had received inflammatory stimuli but did not have amyloidosis. The labelled SAP was found by autoradiography to be present in the same distribution within the tissues as the Congophilic amyloid deposits. These observations establish directly, for the first time, that circulating SAP is the precursor of the amyloid P component (AP) in systemic amyloidosis. They were confirmed by the further finding that intravenous injection into amyloidotic mice of human SAP, either in whole human serum or in isolated pure form, was followed by appearance of the human SAP in the mouse amyloid deposits. In addition to elucidating one aspect of the pathogenesis of amyloid deposition and strengthening the homology of functional behaviour between SAP of different species, the present results suggest a means for selective targeting of diagnostic tracers and/or effector agents to amyloid deposits in vivo.

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