Résumé : Endopeptidase 24.11, a widely distributed membrane-bound peptidase is found in low levels in the serum of normal individuals. Although increased levels of the enzyme have been found in sera of patients with sarcoidosis and adult respiratory distress syndrome, the cellular origin of circulating endopeptidase 24.11 remains unknown. As the brush border of the proximal tubular epithelial cells have the highest endopeptidase specific activity, we investigated the possible contribution of the kidney to the release of endopeptidase 24.11 in the systemic circulation. Therefore, we measured serum levels of the enzyme in patients with end-stage renal failure (ESRF) treated by haemodialysis (HD) or continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis (CAPD). Increased serum levels of endopeptidase 24.11 were observed both in HD patients (mean +/- SEM: 74.6 +/- 20.9 ng/ml) and in CAPD patients (mean +/- SEM: 45.1 +/- 8.1 ng/ml) as compared to normal individuals (mean +/- SEM: 13.6 +/- 1.4 ng/ml). Endopeptidase levels remain stable during haemodialysis sessions on two different dialysis membranes. Finally, serum levels of the enzyme in anephric patients tend to be lower than in ESRF patients, suggesting that the kidney may contribute to the generation of the circulating form of endopeptidase 24.11.