Dipeptidyl Peptidase IV (DPP IV, CD26) In Patients With Mental Eating Disorders

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The notion that patients with eating disorders maintain a functional immunosurveillance in spite of severe malnutrition has attracted researchers for years. Dipeptidyl Peptidase IV (DPP IV), a serine protease with broad tissue distribution and known activity in serum, operates in the cascade of immune responses. Membrane-bound DPP IV expressed on lymphocytes, also known as the leukocyte antigen CD26, is considered to participate in T cell activation. We hypothesized that the activity of DPP IV in serum and expression of CD26 in lymphocytes may be altered in patients with eating disorders. Serum DPP IV activity and the number of CD26 (DPPIV)-positive peripheral blood lymphocytes were measured in 44 patients (anorexia nervosa (AN): n=21, bulimia (B): n=23) in four consecutive weekly analyses. The analysis of CD26-positive cells included the characterization of CD26-bright and CD26-dim positive subsets. Additionally, the expression of CD25 (IL-2 Receptor α chain) was evaluated to estimate the degree of T cell activation. The same analyses were carried out in healthy female volunteers (HC, n = 20). CD26-positive cellswere reduced in patients as compared to healthy controls (mean 40.2% (AN) and 41.1% (B) vs. 47.4% (HC), p<0.01), while the DPP IV activity in serum was elevated (mean 108.4 U/l (AN) and 91.1 U/l (B) vs 80.3 U/. (HC), p<0.001). The potential implications of changes in DPP IVexpressionandserumactivity on — and beyond-immunefunction are discussed.