Isolation and characterization of C-reactive protein and serum amyloid P component in the rat

F. C. de Beer, M. L. Baltz, E. A. Munn, A. Feinstein, J. Taylor, C. Bruton, J. R. Clamp, M. B. Pepys

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143 Scopus citations


C-reactive protein (CRP) and serum amyloid P component (SAP) have been identified for the first time in rat serum and isolated by calcium-dependent affinity chromatography. Rat CRP closely resembled human CRP in its amino acid composition, in having five subunits per molecule and in its electron microscopic appearance as a pentameric annular disc. It differed, however, from all other mammalian CRP's characterised hitherto in being a glycoprotein bearing a single complex oligosaccharide on each polypeptide subunit. Furthermore one pair of its subunits per molecule was linked by interchain disulphide bridges whereas in other animals the subunits of both CRP and SAP are all non-covalently associated. The serum concentration of CRP in normal healthy laboratory rats and in specific pathogen-free rats was 300-600 μg/ml which is much greater than has been described in any other species and exceeds even maximal acute phase levels of CRP in man. Following injections of casein or croton oil, serum CRP levels rose to a maximum of about 900 μg/ml. Rat CRP bound to pneumoccocal C-polysaccharide (CPS) but, in marked contrast to the behaviour of CRP from man, rabbit and marine teleost fish, it did not precipitate with CPS solution, agglutinate CPS-coated sheep erythrocytes or initiate complement activation. Rat SAP, like SAP of other species, was a glycoprotein but unlike them it was composed only a single pentameric disc not two such discs interacting face-to-face. The normal level of SAP in rat serum was 20-50 μg/ml, very similar to the levels seen in man, and it did not behave as an acute phase reactant in response to casein or croton-oil injections. In this respect it resembled human SAP but differed from murine SAP which is a major acute phase reactant.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)55-70
Number of pages16
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1982

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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