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Widespread expression of serum amyloid A in histologically normal human tissues. Predominant localization to the epithelium.

Urieli-Shoval S., Cohen P., Eisenberg S., Matzner Y.

Serum amyloid A (SAA) is an acute-phase reactant whose level in the blood is elevated to 1000-fold as part of the body's responses to various injuries, including trauma, infection, inflammation, and neoplasia. As an acute-phase reactant, the liver has been considered to be the primary site of expression. However, limited extrahepatic SAA expression was described in mouse tissues and in cells of human atherosclerotic lesions. Here we describe nonradioactive in situ hybridization experiments revealing that the SAA mRNA is widely expressed in many histologically normal human tissues. Expression was localized predominantly to the epithelial components of a variety of tissues, including breast, stomach, small and large intestine, prostate, lung, pancreas, kidney, tonsil, thyroid, pituitary, placenta, skin epidermis, and brain neurons. Expression was also observed in lymphocytes, plasma cells, and endothelial cells. RT-PCR analysis of selected tissues revealed expression of the SAA1, SAA2, and SAA4 genes but not of SAA3, consistent with expression of these genes in the liver. Immunohistochemical staining revealed SAA protein expression that co-localized with SAA mRNA expression. These data indicate local production of the SAA proteins in histologically normal human extrahepatic tissues.

J. Histochem. Cytochem. 46:1377-1384(1998) [PubMed] [Europe PMC]

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