The Development of Serum Amyloid P as a Possible Therapeutic. Academic Article uri icon


  • Pentraxins such as serum amyloid P (SAP; also known as PTX2) regulate several aspects of the innate immune system. SAP inhibits the differentiation of monocyte-derived fibroblast-like cells called fibrocytes, promotes the formation of immuno-regulatory macrophages, and inhibits neutrophil adhesion to extracellular matrix proteins. In this minireview, we describe how these effects of SAP have led to its possible use as a therapeutic, and how modulating SAP effects might be used for other therapeutics. Fibrosing diseases such as pulmonary fibrosis, cardiac fibrosis, liver fibrosis, and renal fibrosis are associated with 30-45% of deaths in the US. Fibrosis involves both fibrocyte differentiation and profibrotic macrophage differentiation, and possibly because SAP inhibits both of these processes, in 9 different animal models, SAP inhibited fibrosis. In Phase 1B and Phase 2 clinical trials, SAP injections reduced the decline in lung function in pulmonary fibrosis patients, and in a small Phase 2 trial SAP injections reduced fibrosis in myelofibrosis patients. Acute respiratory distress syndrome/ acute lung injury (ARDS/ALI) involves the accumulation of neutrophils in the lungs, and possibly because SAP inhibits neutrophil adhesion, SAP injections reduced the severity of ARDS in an animal model. Conversely, depleting SAP is a potential therapeutic for amyloidosis, topically removing SAP from wound fluid speeds wound healing in animal models, and blocking SAP binding to one of its receptors makes cultured macrophages more aggressive toward tuberculosis bacteria. These results suggest that modulating pentraxin signaling might be useful for a variety of diseases.

published proceedings

  • Front Immunol

altmetric score

  • 1.75

author list (cited authors)

  • Pilling, D., & Gomer, R. H.

citation count

  • 40

complete list of authors

  • Pilling, Darrell||Gomer, Richard H

publication date

  • January 2018