Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) activity was measured in isolated peripheral blood monocytes and culture medium from 28 patients with sarcoidosis and compared with values obtained from monocytes of 25 normal control subjects. ACE activity was determined by radioimmunoassay of angiotensin II produced from angiotensin I. While there was no measurable ACE activity in monocytes or culture medium from normal controls under the conditions of our study, monocytes from patients with sarcoidosis all showed activity both in cells and culture medium. The mean ACE activity of monocytes from patients with sarcoidosis was 2.0 pg angiotensin II formed/min per 10(5) cells, and that released into medium over a 24-h interval was 30.4 pg angiotensin II/min per 10(5) cells. The monocyte ACE from patients with sarcoidosis was activated by chloride ions and inhibited by EDTA, captopril, and rabbit antiserum to purified human plasma ACE, indicating that enzymatic activity was effected specifically by ACE. Thus, our studies show a significant elevation and release of ACE by peripheral blood monocytes of patients with sarcoidosis under conditions where monocytes of normal control subjects do not demonstrate ACE activity.
T Okabe, K Yamagata, M Fujisawa, J Watanabe, F Takaku, J J Lanzillo, B L Fanburg