Serum amyloid A (SAA), a polymorphic high density lipoprotein associated plasma protein, is the putative circulating precursor of tissue AA protein fibrils in reactive (secondary) amyloidosis. In the present study we examined the SAA subtype pattern in various acute and chronic inflammatory states in order to find out whether disease-specific SAA isoform profiles exist. The method used to study the subtype pattern is based on electrofocusing of serum followed by immunoblotting. Our results show that the SAA subtype pattern is similar in patients with rheumatoid arthritis with or without amyloid. In addition, in amyloidotic subjects the SAA subtype response to acute tissue injury (arthroplasty) did not differ from that in patients without amyloidosis. Analysis of patients with acute and chronic infectious diseases and non-rheumatic inflammatory conditions showed similar SAA patterns in all subjects. These results suggest that the SAA subtype response to tissue injury and inflammation is similar irrespective of the initiating stimulus.
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