The effect of therapeutic agents on serum copper levels and serum oxidase activities in the rat adjuvant model compared to analogous results from studies of rheumatoid arthritis in humans

  • W. E. Smith
  • D. H. Brown
  • J. Dunlop
  • R. Hazelton
  • R. D. Sturrock
  • A. J. Lewis
Part of the Inflammation: Mechanisms and Treatment book series (FTIN, volume 4)


Among the many biochemical changes observed in rheumatoid arthritis and other inflammatory disorders has been a pronounced elevation in serum copper1–3. A similar rise in serum copper has also been observed in the adjuvant arthritic rat4–7. Since ceruloplasmin is the major copper-carrying protein in serum, it seemed likely that there should be a relationship between total serum copper and ceruloplasmin in the diseased and normal states. Recent studies would support this8,9, but there are also claims that non-ceruloplasmin copper may be the major source of additional copper in rheumatoid arthritis3,10. Furthermore, in studies of cancer in animals, the ratio of the amount to the activity of ceruloplasmin, the main oxidase in serum, varies with the severity of the disease11. We decided to investigate the copper-ceruloplasmin relationship in adjuvant arthritis in the rat and to relate this to copper levels in patients with rheumatoid arthritis and normal human controls. These studies were intended to give some insight into the activity of serum copper as well as the amount of the copper and consequently the relationship of these parameters to drug therapies was also studied.


Rheumatoid Arthritis Copper Level Adjuvant Arthritis Cuprous Oxide Serum Copper 
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Copyright information

© MTP Press Limited 1980

Authors and Affiliations

  • W. E. Smith
    • 1
  • D. H. Brown
    • 1
  • J. Dunlop
    • 1
  • R. Hazelton
    • 1
  • R. D. Sturrock
    • 1
  • A. J. Lewis
    • 1
  1. 1.UK

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