Research Article

Reduced amyloid-A-degrading activity in serum in amyloidosis associated with rheumatoid arthritis.

Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1982; 284 doi: (Published 27 February 1982) Cite this as: Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1982;284:617
  1. O Wegelius,
  2. A M Teppo,
  3. C P Maury


    The ability to degrade amyloid A fibrils was studied in the serum of 31 patients with amyloidosis associated with rheumatoid arthritis, 33 patients with rheumatoid arthritis without amyloidosis, and 47 healthy controls. Fibrillar amyloid A protein and the radial diffusion method were used. The mean degrading activity in serum was significantly lower in patients with rheumatoid arthritis complicated by amyloidosis (58 +/- 19% SD of the activity in a pooled sample of sera from 100 healthy blood donors used as standard) than in patients with rheumatoid arthritis alone (78 +/- 14%; p less than 0.001) or controls (99 +/- 19%; p less than 0.001). Alpha 1-antitrypsin, concentrations of which were raised in both groups of patients, inhibited the degrading activity in serum even in low concentrations. A negative correlation between degrading activity and alpha 1-antitrypsin concentrations was observed. These findings suggest that reduced amyloid-A-degrading activity is due to inhibition rather than to deficiency of enzyme.