A lipase is a water-soluble enzyme that catalyzes the hydrolysis of ester bonds in water–insoluble, lipid substrates. Lipase is an enzyme necessary for the absorption and digestion of lipids.
Where is it found ?
Lipases are present throughout our body. Most of the lipase is manufactured in the pancreas, although some of it is also secreted in the saliva. Pancreas produces about a litre and a half of digestive juices per day e.g. protease, amylase, lipase, cellulase & lactase.
Lipase is the enzyme, which is produced to digest fats.
Sources of Lipase…
The different types of lipases found in our body include –
– Pancreatic lipase – secreted by pancreas
– Hepatic lipase – present in Liver
– Lipoprotein Lipase/Endothelial lipase – present in the endothelial cells
– Lysosomal lipase – present intracellularly
– Gastric lipase – secreted in the stomach
Lipases perform essential roles in the:-
• Transport &
• Processing of dietary lipids in most- if not all- living organisms. (e.g. triglycerides, fats, oils)
Hydrolysis of triglyceride into monoglyceride and free fatty acids is accomplished predominantly by pancreatic lipase.
Clinical Significance :
Elevated levels of lipase in blood may indicate a problem related to pancreas.
When the pancreas are inflamed, increased blood levels of the pancreatic enzymes, amylase and lipase will result.
The normal lipase level is 00-193 U/L. Normal values may vary from laboratory to laboratory.
• Causes of hyperlipasemia (high lipase levels) may include:
– Pancreatitis – also known as inflammation of the pancreas, can cause amylase and lipase levels to be increased up to 3 times normal. Both values should be measured, in order to carry the diagnosis of pancreatitis.
– Lipase may be increased in tumors of the pancreas, or stomach.
– Gall bladder infection – Inflammation of the gall bladder (cholecystitis), may cause increased lipase levels.
– Kidney failure can cause hyperlipasemia.
Diagnostic Significance :
• Amylase & Lipase tests are used to monitor the diagnosis and treatment of acute pancreatitis and to differentiate pancreatitis from other abdominal disorders
• An elevated amylase may indicate a problem but non-pancreatic disorders can cause increased amylase levels.
• Lipase levels are usually increased in pancreatic disorders.
• So, Lipase being more specific (91%), helps in the differential diagnosis of Acute pancreatitis.