Myeloperoxidase and oxidative stress in rheumatoid arthritis

Rheumatology (Oxford). 2012 Oct;51(10):1796-803. doi: 10.1093/rheumatology/kes193. Epub 2012 Jul 19.


Objective: To determine whether MPO contributes to oxidative stress and disease activity in RA and whether it produces hypochlorous acid in SF.

Methods: Plasma and where possible SF were collected from 77 RA patients while 120 healthy controls supplied plasma only. MPO and protein carbonyls were measured by ELISAs. 3-Chlorotyrosine in proteins and allantoin in plasma were measured by mass spectrometry.

Results: Plasma MPO concentrations were significantly higher in patients with RA compared with healthy controls [10.8 ng/ml, inter-quartile range (IQR): 7.2-14.2; P<0.05], but there was no significant difference in plasma MPO protein concentrations between RA patients with high disease activity (HDA; DAS-28 >3.2) and those with low disease activity (LDA; DAS-28 ≤ 3.2) (HDA 27.9 ng/ml, 20.2-34.1 vs LDA 22.1 ng/ml, 16.9-34.9; P>0.05). There was a significant relationship between plasma MPO and DAS-28 (r=0.35; P=0.005). Plasma protein carbonyls and allantoin were significantly higher in patients with RA compared with the healthy controls. MPO protein was significantly higher in SF compared with plasma (median 624.0 ng/ml, IQR 258.4-2433.0 vs 30.2 ng/ml, IQR 25.1-50.9; P<0.0001). The MPO present in SF was mostly active. 3-Chlorotyrosine, a specific biomarker of hypochlorous acid, was present in proteins from SF and related to the concentration of MPO (r=0.69; P=0.001). Protein carbonyls in SF were associated with MPO protein concentration (r=0.40; P=0.019) and 3-chlorotyrosine (r=0.66; P=0.003).

Conclusion: MPO is elevated in patients with RA and promotes oxidative stress through the production of hypochlorous acid.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / blood
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / metabolism*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Oxidative Stress / physiology*
  • Peroxidase / blood
  • Peroxidase / metabolism*
  • Reactive Oxygen Species / metabolism
  • Synovial Fluid / metabolism*


  • Reactive Oxygen Species
  • Peroxidase