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01.12.2015 | Research article | Ausgabe 1/2015 Open Access

BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders 1/2015

Intraindividual changes of dipeptidyl peptidase-IV in peripheral blood of patients with rheumatoid arthritis are associated with the disease activity

BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders > Ausgabe 1/2015
Lucie Sromova, Petr Busek, Liliana Sedova, Aleksi Sedo
Wichtige Hinweise

Competing interests

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Authors’ contributions

LSr and PB performed biochemical assays, flow cytometry studies and statistical analysis. LSe carried out the diagnostics and clinical examinations. AS designed and coordinated the study. LSr, PB and AS wrote the manuscript, all authors approved the final manuscript.



Dipeptidyl peptidase-IV (DPP-IV) is suggested to contribute to the pathogenesis of several autoimmune diseases. The aim of this study was to evaluate the association of DPP-IV presence in blood plasma and mononuclear cells with the disease activity in rheumatoid arthritis (RA).


Patients with active RA (n = 27) were examined at the study enrolment and a follow-up examination was performed after the regression of the joint effusions and at least 6 months after the first investigation. The control group comprised patients with a noninflammatory joint disease, i.e. osteoarthritis (OA; n = 15). The DPP-IV-like enzymatic activity was measured by a kinetic fluorimetric method, the concentration of DPP-IV in the blood plasma was determined using ELISA and the expression of DPP-IV in leukocytes was assayed by flow cytometry.


Blood plasma DPP-IV-like enzymatic activity (median ± SD 220.15 ± 83.6 pkat/mL in RA vs. 376.9 ± 144.9 pkat/mL in OA, p < 0.001) and concentrations (median ± SD 465.1 ± 215.6 ng/mL in RA vs. 953.3 ± 368.4 ng/mL in OA, p < 0.001) were lower in patients with active RA compared to OA. In RA patients, the blood plasma DPP-IV-like enzymatic activity negatively correlated with the CRP concentration (r = −0.39, p = 0.044). No significant differences were observed in the DPP-IV-like enzymatic activity and DPP-IV expression in blood mononuclear cells between the RA and OA groups. At follow-up, 18 RA patients had a less active disease as demonstrated by an improved DAS28 score. In this group, comparison of the entry and the follow-up values in individual patients revealed an increase of the blood plasma DPP-IV-like enzymatic activity (median ± SD 141 ± 46 % of the patient’s entry values, p = 0.011) and DPP-IV concentration (median ± SD 168 ± 25 %, of the patient’s entry values, p = 0.033). In contrast to the blood plasma, the DPP-IV expression in blood mononuclear cells was reduced in these patients as evidenced by a decrease in the cell surface DPP-IV-like enzymatic activity as well as the median fluorescence intensity of DPP-IV staining in lymphocytes (median ± SD 66 ± 56 %, p = 0.018 and 63 ± 31 % of the patient’s entry values, p = 0.005, respectively).


The association between RA activity and the changes in blood plasma and blood mononuclear cell DPP-IV in individual patients supports the possible relationship of DPP-IV to RA pathophysiology.
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