The proteinase inhibitory ability of alpha 1 antitrypsin was measured in 23 samples of rheumatoid arthritis synovial fluid, eight osteoarthritic synovial fluids and nine normal control serum samples. For each sample a detailed kinetic analysis was performed with porcine pancreatic elastase as the target proteinase. Samples were stored for less than 24 hours at 4 degrees C before analysis, which does not significantly alter the proportion of inactive alpha 1 antitrypsin. In rheumatoid synovial fluid the elastase inhibitory ability was disproportionately depressed relative to the immunochemically determined concentrations of alpha 1 antitrypsin.
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