In our previous post we talked about a cytokine, TNF-alpha, this week we will review acute phase proteins.
Acute phase proteins are proteins stimulated by certain cytokines produced during different types of inflammatory processes in which there is some degree of tissue damage.
This type of proteins belongs to a group of plasma proteins that are synthesized mainly at the hepatic level, if their production is increased, they are called positive acute phase proteins and if it is decreased they are called negative acute phase proteins.
Positive acute phase proteins are part of the innate immune system, where they fulfill different physiological functions. Some act by destroying or inhibiting the growth of microorganisms, for example C-reactive protein that acts as an opsonin, opsonizing microbes, or ferritin and haptoglobin that bind iron, limiting it for microorganisms.
Pig-MAP ( Major Acute Phase Protein ) which is stimulated by the cytokine Interleukin-6, appears to inhibit certain proteases.
Coagulation factors modulate the clotting process, mainly by stimulating it to trap pathogenic organisms in clots.
Negative acute phase proteins decrease in concentration during inflammation. Examples include albumin, transferrin, transthyretin, retinol transporter protein, antithrombin, and transcortin. The physiological function of this decreased synthesis of these proteins is usually to safeguard amino acids for the production of positive acute phase proteins or to decrease the serum concentration of substances essential for microbial metabolism.
Like cytokines, the measurement of acute phase proteins is a very useful and effective method for the evaluation of an inflammatory process, so as the cover of this article we are pleased to show an analysis from the Autonomous University of Barcelona comparing the levels of Pig-MAP in piglets that consumed our enteroprotector NBG EnteroShield Vs a control.
Finally, you can find complementary information on some of the most useful acute phase proteins as indicators of inflammation in swine (Pig-MAP, Haptoglobin and C-reactive protein) in the following link:
Enjoy the article.