Neutral endopeptidase-24.11 (NEP) activity in human fibroblasts during development and ageing

Dimitris Kletsas, Eva Caselgrandi, Daniela Barbieri, Dimitri Stathakos, Claudio Franceschi, Enzo Ottaviani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Neutral endopeptidase-24.11 (NEP, EC is a cell surface Zn metallopeptidase that hydrolyzes bioactive regulatory peptides. Using a spectrofluorimetric procedure, we assessed NEP activity in plasma membranes of normal human skin and lung fibroblasts. We found a considerable increase in NEP activity during fetal-to-adult transition. Adult skin fibroblasts from an old donor exhibited significantly higher levels of NEP activity than cells from young donors. Interestingly, however, the NEP activity of fibroblasts from a centenarian donor was similar to that of cells from young donors. Increased levels of NEP activity were also found in in vitro aged lung fibroblasts. Finally, adrenocorticotropin hormone (ACTH (1-24)), a regulatory peptide that can be cleaved by NEP, provoked an increase in enzymic activity in fetal and young adult donor fibroblasts and a decrease in this activity in fibroblasts from adult and old donors. This finding suggests that ageing may affect NEP activity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15-23
Number of pages9
JournalMechanisms of Ageing and Development
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - May 1 1998


  • ACTH
  • Adult
  • Ageing
  • Centenarian
  • Fetal
  • Human fibroblasts
  • NEP

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ageing
  • Biochemistry
  • Developmental Biology
  • Developmental Neuroscience


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