Dual inhibition of dipeptidyl peptidase IV and aminopeptidase N suppresses inflammatory immune responses

Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2007 Sep;1110:402-9. doi: 10.1196/annals.1423.042.


The ectopeptidases dipeptidyl peptidase IV (DP IV, CD26) and aminopeptidase N (APN, CD13) are known to regulate T cell activation. Since selective inhibitors of DP IV and APN suppress DNA synthesis and cytokine production of stimulated T cells in a TGF-beta1-dependent manner, we tested whether combined application of DP IV and APN inhibitors enhances this immunomodulatory effect. The results show that simultaneous application of DP IV and APN inhibitors significantly suppressed DNA synthesis in mitogen- or anti-CD3-stimulated human T cells in vitro when compared to the use of a single DP IV or APN inhibitor. Moreover, the combined action of DP IV and APN inhibitors markedly increased TGF-beta1 production associated with the observed immunosuppressive effects. In vivo, targeting both DP IV and APN led to a potent treatment of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis, an animal model of multiple sclerosis (MS). This review summarizes the evidence for the role of both enzymes in T cell activation in vitro and in vivo and provides a rationale for using combined and dual peptidase inhibitors to treat autoimmune diseases like MS.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • CD13 Antigens / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • CD13 Antigens / immunology
  • CD13 Antigens / metabolism*
  • Dipeptidyl Peptidase 4 / immunology
  • Dipeptidyl Peptidase 4 / metabolism*
  • Dipeptidyl-Peptidase IV Inhibitors*
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / drug therapy
  • Inflammation / enzymology
  • Inflammation / immunology
  • Protease Inhibitors / pharmacology
  • Protease Inhibitors / therapeutic use


  • Dipeptidyl-Peptidase IV Inhibitors
  • Protease Inhibitors
  • CD13 Antigens
  • Dipeptidyl Peptidase 4