How reliable an indicator of inflammation is myeloperoxidase activity?

Clin Chim Acta. 2008 Oct;396(1-2):23-5. doi: 10.1016/j.cca.2008.06.016. Epub 2008 Jun 21.


Background: Myeloperoxidase (MPO) and interleukin-6 (IL-6) are often used as markers of inflammation. The aim of this study was to ascertain whether MPO activity is as reliable as IL-6 as an indicator of inflammation.

Methods: Inflammation was induced in mice, using either turpentine or indomethacin. Duodenal tissue was removed from these animals at various time periods ranging from 6 h to 7 days later. Concentrations of IL-6 and MPO activity were estimated in the tissue. Histopathological examination was also carried out at some of the time periods to determine the presence of neutrophil infiltration in turpentine-treated mice.

Results: Concentrations of IL-6 and MPO activity were significantly higher in tissue that had been treated with the agents used, at all the time periods studied, when compared with corresponding control tissue. Fold-increases in MPO activity were higher than fold-increases in IL-6. Concentrations of the 2 parameters showed significant positive correlation. Histopathological examination did not show significantly higher numbers of neutrophils infiltrating the tissue in response to turpentine, at the time periods studied.

Conclusions: Estimation of MPO activity is a reliable indicator of inflammation, being more sensitive than histopathological examination of tissue and as good as measurement of IL-6 concentrations.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Indomethacin / therapeutic use
  • Inflammation / drug therapy
  • Inflammation / enzymology
  • Interleukin-6 / metabolism
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Peroxidase / metabolism*
  • Turpentine / therapeutic use


  • Interleukin-6
  • Peroxidase
  • Turpentine
  • Indomethacin