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, Volume 25, Issue 3–4, pp 336–343 | Cite as

d-Penicillamine metabolism in anin-vivo model of inflamed synovium

  • D. A. Joyce
  • M. J. Forrest
  • P. M. Brooks


Oxidation to disulphides is the chief metabolic transformation ofd-penicillamine (d-pen) in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Oxidation also occurs in many biological fluidsin-vitro. Reduction of oxygen species may accompany the oxidation ofd-pen under appropriate conditions and may mediate the anti-rheumatic action ofd-pen. The transformation ofd-pen therefore was examined in anin-vivo model of inflamed synovium.

Subcutaneous air-pouches of groups of rats were treated with saline, 10% serum or 10% zymosan activated serum (ZAS). The transformation ofd-pen to low molecular weight (LMW) metabolites and protein conjugates within the pouch was then assessed. The concentrations of total protein were significantly higher in the serum and ZAS-treated groups than in the saline-treated group and the inflammatory cell counts were significantly higher in the ZAS-treated group than in either of the other groups, as expected.d-pen oxidised rapidly to LMW metabolites and smaller amounts ofd-pen-protein conjugate (d-pen-protein) in the air pouches of all animals. The rates of oxidation to LMW metabolites were greater in the ZAS-treated animals than the saline-treated group (p<0.005). The concentrations ofd-pen-protein conjugate were also greater for the serum-treated and ZAS-treated animals than for the saline controls (p<0.005 in each case) at all times.

Oxidation ofd-pen therefore occurs at this site of inflammation and is influenced by local conditions. This may be important to understanding the forms in whichd-pen exists in inflamed synovial joints and the way it may exert its antirheumatic activity.


Rheumatoid Arthritis Arthritis Inflammatory Cell Local Condition Disulphide 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Birkhäuser Verlag 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • D. A. Joyce
    • 1
  • M. J. Forrest
    • 2
  • P. M. Brooks
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of PharmacologyUniversity of Western AustraliaNedlands
  2. 2.Sutton Rheumatism Research LaboratoryUniversity of Sydney, at the Royal North Shore HospitalSt LeonardsAustralia

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