Neurochemical Research

, Volume 40, Issue 1, pp 81–88 | Cite as

Prolyl Carboxypeptidase Activity Decline Correlates with Severity and Short-Term Outcome in Acute Ischemic Stroke

  • Kaat Kehoe
  • Raf Brouns
  • Robert Verkerk
  • Sebastiaan Engelborghs
  • Peter Paul De Deyn
  • Dirk Hendriks
  • Ingrid De Meester
Original Paper


Prolyl carboxypeptidase (PRCP) is an enzyme associated with cerebrovascular risk factors such as hypertension, diabetes mellitus, obesity and hyperlipidemia. We aim to evaluate the relation between serum PRCP activity and severity, evolution and outcome of acute ischemic stroke. We used a specific RP-HPLC activity assay to measure PRCP activity in serum of 50 stroke patients at admission, and at 24 h, 72 h and 7 days after stroke onset to assess correlations with stroke severity based on the National Institutes of Health Stroke scale score (NIHSS), infarct volume on brain MRI scan, stroke outcome based on the modified Rankin scale (mRS) and mortality at 3 months after stroke. The average PRCP activity in serum decreased significantly the first 24 h after stroke onset and returned to baseline values at day 7. High NIHSS scores and infarct volumes at admission were related with a more pronounced decrease of PRCP in the first 24 h after stroke (ΔPRCP24, r = 0.31, P < 0.05; r = 0.30, P < 0.05). In addition, patients who displayed a more pronounced decrease in PRCP levels during the first 24 h after stroke were more likely to be institutionalized upon discharge (n = 21) (ΔPRCP24 ± SD, 0.05 ± 0.10 U/L vs. 0.17 ± 0.14 U/L, P = 0.001). The decrease in PRCP levels in the first 24 h after stroke onset is associated with stroke severity and an unfavourable short-term stroke outcome.


Prolyl carboxypeptidase Acute ischemic stroke Enzyme activity Angiotensin Angiotensinase C 



Procarboxypeptidase U


Prolyl carboxypeptidase






Trial of Org 10172 in Acute Stroke Treatment


C-reactive protein


National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale


European Progressing Stroke Study


Modified Rankin scale



The authors gratefully thank Nicole Lamoen for excellent technical assistance, Lesley Baerts and Jill Luyckx for logistic support with blood samples. This work was supported by the Fund for Scientific Research Flanders (Belgium, FWO–Vlaanderen) and the University of Antwerp Research Fund. Kaat Kehoe is a research assistant for FWO–Vlaanderen (Grant 11E4613N). This study was also supported by: the Institute Born-Bunge; the agreement between the Institute Born-Bunge and the University of Antwerp; Interuniversity Poles of Attraction (IAP Network P7/16) of the Belgian Federal Science Policy Office; the Flemish Government initiated Methusalem excellence grant, Belgium; and the Medical Research Foundation Antwerp.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

11064_2014_1468_MOESM1_ESM.docx (388 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 387 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kaat Kehoe
    • 1
  • Raf Brouns
    • 2
  • Robert Verkerk
    • 1
  • Sebastiaan Engelborghs
    • 3
    • 4
  • Peter Paul De Deyn
    • 3
    • 4
  • Dirk Hendriks
    • 1
  • Ingrid De Meester
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratory of Medical Biochemistry, Department of Pharmaceutical SciencesUniversity of AntwerpAntwerpBelgium
  2. 2.Department of Neurology, Universitair Ziekenhuis Brussel, Center for NeurosciencesVrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB)BrusselsBelgium
  3. 3.Department of Neurology and Memory ClinicHospital Network Antwerp (ZNA) Middelheim and Hoge BeukenAntwerpBelgium
  4. 4.Laboratory of Neurochemistry and Behavior, Department of Biomedical Sciences, Institute Born-BungeUniversity of AntwerpAntwerpBelgium

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