Veterinary World (Aug 2017)

Serum levels of urokinase-type plasminogen activator in healthy dogs and oncologic canine patients

  • Sofia C. Ramos,
  • Augusto J. de Matos,
  • Joao Niza Ribeiro,
  • Liliana R. Leite-Martins,
  • Rui R. F. Ferreira,
  • Ines Viegas,
  • Andreia A. Santos

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 10, no. 8
pp. 918 – 923


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Aim: Urokinase plasminogen activator (uPA) has been scarcely studied in veterinary oncology. The aim of this study was to determine the uPA serum concentrations in healthy and oncologic canine patients and to investigate its potential value as a tumor biomarker. Materials and Methods: Serum uPA concentrations of healthy and oncologic canine patients were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Their relationships with the dogs' health status and tumor characteristics were analyzed through ANOVA and independent t-test. Results: There were no significant differences between mean serum values (±standard deviation) of healthy dogs (0.19±0.13 ng/ml) and oncologic canine patients (0.22±0.33 ng/ml), or between dogs with benign or malignant tumors, and with or without metastases, although the latter tended to show higher uPA serum levels. Conclusion: This is the first study describing the uPA serum levels in dogs. Although its results do not support uPA as a tumor biomarker, higher uPA levels in dogs with metastatic neoplasms may reflect the role of the enzyme in tumor progression.