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Rheumatol Int. 2003 Nov;23(6):271-6. Epub 2003 Sep 12.

CD13/aminopeptidase N in collagen vascular diseases.

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Course of Medical Oncology, Department of Internal Medicine and Molecular Therapeutics, University of Tokushima School of Medicine, 18-15 Kuramoto-cho 3, Tokushima 770-8503, Japan.


To determine the significance of CD13/aminopeptidase N in collagen vascular diseases (CVD), we examined its activity and expression in sera and disease sites of patients with CVD. Significantly higher aminopeptidase activity was detected in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid from patients with interstitial lung diseases due to rheumatoid arthritis (RA), polymyositis/dermatomyositis (PM/DM), systemic sclerosis (SSc), and Sjögren's syndrome than from control subjects. Increased aminopeptidase activity and increased expression of CD13/aminopeptidase N protein were found in alveolar macrophages from CVD patients with interstitial lung diseases. Significantly higher aminopeptidase activity was detected in pleural effusions from patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) than in transudate effusions. The mean aminopeptidase activity in synovial fluids from RA patients was significantly higher than from patients with osteoarthritis. The mean value of serum aminopeptidase activity was significantly higher in patients with SLE, RA, SSc, and PM/DM than in normal subjects. This study suggests that the activity of CD13/aminopeptidase N, locally produced in the disease site, is a useful marker for CVD and that CD13/aminopeptidase N may have an important role in the pathogenesis of CVD.

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