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Biochem Pharmacol. 2013 Jun 15;85(12):1783-94. doi: 10.1016/j.bcp.2013.04.018. Epub 2013 Apr 30.

Alteration of prolyl oligopeptidase and activated α-2-macroglobulin in multiple sclerosis subtypes and in the clinically isolated syndrome.

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Division of Pharmacology and Toxicology, University of Helsinki, Viikinkaari 5E, 00014 Finland.


Prolyl oligopeptidase (PREP) has been considered as a drug target for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases. In plasma, PREP has been found altered in several disorders of the central nervous system including multiple sclerosis (MS). Oxidative stress and the levels of an endogenous plasma PREP inhibitor have been proposed to decrease PREP activity in MS. In this work, we measured the circulating levels of PREP in patients suffering of relapsing remitting (RR), secondary progressive (SP), primary progressive (PP) MS, and in subjects with clinically isolated syndrome (CIS). We found a significantly lower PREP activity in plasma of RRMS as well as in PPMS patients and a trend to reduced activity in subjects diagnosed with CIS, compared to controls. No signs of oxidative inactivation of PREP, and no correlation with the endogenous PREP inhibitor, identified as activated α-2-macroglobulin (α2M*), were observed in any of the patients studied. However, a significant decrease of α2M* was recorded in MS. In cell cultures, we found that PREP specifically stimulates immune active cells possibly by modifying the levels of fibrinogen β, thymosin β4, and collagen. Our results open new lines of research on the role of PREP and α2M* in MS, aiming to relate them to the diagnosis and prognosis of this devastating disease.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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