Acute phase protein

Acute phase protein

Acute-phase proteins are a class of proteins whose plasma concentrations increase (positive acute phase proteins) or decrease (negative acute phase proteins) in response to inflammation. This response is called the "acute-phase reaction" (also called acute phase response).In response to injury, local inflammatory cells (neutrophil granulocytes and macrophages) secrete a number of cytokines into the bloodstream, most notable of which are the interleukins IL-1, IL-6 and IL-8, and TNF-α.

The liver responds by producing a large number of acute-phase reactants. At the same time, the production of a number of other proteins is reduced; these are therefore referred to as "negative" acute phase reactants.


Positive acute-phase proteins serve different physiological functions for the immune system. Some act to destroy or inhibit growth of microbes, e.g. C-reactive protein, Mannose-binding protein, complement factors, ferritin, ceruloplasmin, Serum amyloid A and haptoglobin. Others give negative feedback on the inflammatory response, e.g. serpins. Alpha 2-macroglobulin and coagulation factors affect coagulation.


Clinical significance

Measurement of acute phase proteins, especially C-reactive protein, is a useful marker of inflammation in both medical and veterinary clinical pathology. It correlates with the erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR).

They may also indicate liver failure [ cite journal |author=Ananian P, Hardwigsen J, Bernard D, Le Treut YP |title=Serum acute-phase protein level as indicator for liver failure after liver resection |journal=Hepatogastroenterology |volume=52 |issue=63 |pages=857–61 |year=2005 |pmid=15966220 |doi=]


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External links


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