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J Biochem. 1997 Aug;122(2):453-8.

Midkine, a retinoic acid-inducible heparin-binding cytokine in inflammatory responses: chemotactic activity to neutrophils and association with inflammatory synovitis.

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Department of Biochemistry, Nagoya University School of Medicine.


Midkine (MK) is a retinoic acid-inducible heparin-binding cytokine. In the inflammatory synovitis of rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis, MK was detected in synovial fluid, synoviocytes, and endothelial cells of new blood vessels. Normal synovial fluid and noninflammatory synovial tissue did not contain detectable MK. Therefore, MK showed inflammation-associated expression in these cases. Furthermore, MK was found to promote chemotaxis of neutrophils in the range of 10 ng/ml. The mode of action of MK was found to be haptotactic; the substrate-bound form of MK was the active one. MK is also known to promote fibrinolysis. These activities of MK are in agreement with the modes of MK expression in various pathological statuses, and thus MK is proposed to be an important molecule regulating inflammatory responses.

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