Acute phase proteins as promising biomarkers: Perspectives and limitations for human and veterinary medicine
Acute phase proteins (APPs) are highly conserved plasma proteins that are increasingly secreted by the liver in response to a variety of injuries, independently of their location and cause. APPs favour the systemic regulation of defence, coagulation, proteolysis and tissue repair. Various APPs have been applied as general diagnostic parameters for a long time. Through proteomic techniques, more and more APPs have been discovered to be differentially altered. Since they are not consistently explainable by a stereotypic hepatic expression of sets of APPs, most of these results have unfortunately been neglected or attributed to the non-specificity of the acute phase reaction. Moreover, it appears that various extra-hepatic tissues are also able to express APPs. These extra-hepatic APPs show focally specific roles in tissue homeostasis and repair and are released primarily into interstitial and distal fluids. Since these focal proteins might leak into the circulatory system, mixtures of hepatic and extra-hepatic APP species can be expected in blood. Hence, a selective alteration of parts of APPs might be expected. There are several hints on multiple molecular forms and fragments of tissue-derived APPs. These differences offer the chance for multiple selective determinations. Thus, specific proteoforms might indeed serve as tissue-specific disease indicators.
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