Archives of gynecology

, Volume 236, Issue 2, pp 83–91 | Cite as

The development and validation of a radioimmunoassay for human Pregnancy-Associated Plasma Protein A (PAPP-A)

  • L. G. Pinto Furtado
  • A. E. Bolton
  • J. G. Grudzinskas
  • M. G. Chapman
  • M. J. Sinosich
  • V. Sharma


A specific and sensitive radioimmunoassay for human pregnancy-associated plasma protein A (PAPPA-A) is described. This assay utilized tracer repurified by affinity chromatography on heparin-Sepharose. The most sensitive assay developed had a detection limit of 5 μg/l PAPP-A in serum, and this protein could not be detected in sera from non-pregnant subjects. During pregnancy, mean circulating levels rose from 0.6 mg/l at 6 weeks gestation to 110 mg/l at term, and PAPP-A was detected in 44 of 101 umbilical blood samples. The use of the anticoagulants EDTA and acid citrate dextrose resulted in significantly different results in the plasma compared to the corresponding serum sample. PAPP-A was also measured in amniotic fluid.

Key words

Pregnancy-associated plasma protein A-PAPP-A-Radioimmunoassay 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Anthony F, Masson GM, Wood PJ (1983) Development of a radioimmunoassay for pregnancy associated plasma protein-A and establishment of normal levels in the first trimester of pregnancy. Ann Clin Chem 20: 26–30Google Scholar
  2. Bischof P (1979) Purification and characterisation of pregnancy associated plasma protein-A. (PAPP-A). Arch Gynecol 227: 315–326Google Scholar
  3. Bischof P, Haenggeli L, Sizonenko MT, Herrmann W, Sizonenko PC (1981a) Radioimmunoassay for the measurement of pregnancy-associated plasma protein-A (PAPP-A) in humans. Biol Reprod 24: 1076–1081Google Scholar
  4. Bischof P, Mitchell K, Wurstemberger B de, Girard JP (1981b) Inhibition of lymphocyte transformation by pregnancy associated plasma protein-A. J Clin Lab Immunol 7: 61–65Google Scholar
  5. Bischof P, Duberg S, Hermann W, Sizonenko PC (1982) Amniotic fluid and plasma concentrations of pregnancy associated plasma protein-A (PAPP-A) throughout pregnancy: comparison with other fetoplacental products. Br J Obstet Gynaecol 89: 358–363Google Scholar
  6. Bischof P, Reyes H, Herman WL, Sizonenko PC (1983) Circulating levels of pregnancy associated plasma protein-A (PAPP-A) and human chorionic gonadotrophin (hCG) in intrauterine and extrauterine pregnancies. Br J Obstet Gynaecol 90: 323–25Google Scholar
  7. Davey MW, Teisner B, Sinosich MJ, Grudzinskas JG (1983) Interaction between heparin and human pregnancy associated plasma protein-A (PAPP-A): A simple purification procedure. Anal Biochem 131: 18–24Google Scholar
  8. Ekins RP (1976) General principles of hormone assay. In: Lorraine JH, Bell ET (eds) Hormone assays and their clinical application. 4th Ed. Edinburgh, Churchill Livingstone, pp 1–72Google Scholar
  9. Hunter WM, Greenwood FC (1962) Preparation of iodine-125-labelled human growth hormone of high specific activity. Nature 194: 267–276Google Scholar
  10. Lin TM, Halbert SP, Kiefer D, Spellacy WN, Gall S (1974) Characterisation of four human pregnancy associated plasma proteins. Am J Obstet Gynecol 118: 223–26Google Scholar
  11. Obiekwe B, Pendlebury DJ, Gordon YB, Grudzinskas JG, Chard T (1979) Radioimmunoassay of placental protein 5 and circulating levels on maternal blood in the third trimester of normal pregnancy. Clin Chim Acta 95: 509–516Google Scholar
  12. Salem HT, Obiekwe BC, Al-Ani ATM, Seppala M, Chard T (1980) Molecular heterogeneity of placental protein 5 (PP5) in late pregnancy serum and plasma: Evidence for a heparin-PP5 polymer. Clin Chim Acta 107: 211–215Google Scholar
  13. Sinosich MJ, Teisner B, Davey M, Grudzinskas JG (1981) Pregnancy associated plasma protein-A: interaction with heparin in crossed affinity immunoelectrophoresis. Aust N Z J Med 11: 429–433Google Scholar
  14. Sinosich MJ, Davey MW, Ghosh P, Grudzinskas JG (1982a) Specific inhibition of human granulocyte elastase by human pregnancy associated plasma protein-A. Biochem Int 5: 777–786Google Scholar
  15. Sinosich MJ, Teisner B, Folkersen J, Saunders DN, Grudzinskas JG (1982b) Radioimmunoassay for pregnancy associated plasma protein-A. Clin Chem 28: 50–53Google Scholar
  16. Sutcliffe RG, Kukulska-Langlands BM, Coggins JR, Hunter JB, Gore CH (1980) Studies on human pregnancy associated plasma protein-A. Biochem J 191: 799–809Google Scholar
  17. Sutcliffe RG, Kukulska-Langlands BM, Horne CHW, MacLean AB, Jandial V, Sutherland HW, Gibb S, Bowman AW (1982) Studies on the concentration of pregnancy associated plasma protein-A during normal and complicated pregnancy. Placenta 3: 71–80Google Scholar
  18. Teisner B, Davey MW, Grudzinskas JG (1983) Interaction betwen heparin and plasma proteins analysed by crossed immunoelectrophoresis and affinity chromatography. Clin Chim Acta 127: 413–417Google Scholar
  19. Toop KM, Klopper A (1983) Effect of anticoagulants on the measurement of pregnancy associated plasma protein-A. Br Jour Obstet Gynecol 90: 150–155Google Scholar
  20. Westergaard JG, Sinosich MJ, Bugge M, Madsen LT, Teisner B, Grudzinskas JG (1983a) Pregnancy associated plasma protein-A in the prediction of early pregnancy failure. Am J Obstet Gynecol 145: 67–69Google Scholar
  21. Westergaard JG, Hau J, Teisner B, Grudzinskas JG (1983b) Specific and reversible interaction between pregnancy associated plasma protein-A and heparin. Placenta 4: 13–18Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • L. G. Pinto Furtado
    • 1
  • A. E. Bolton
    • 1
  • J. G. Grudzinskas
    • 2
  • M. G. Chapman
    • 3
  • M. J. Sinosich
    • 4
  • V. Sharma
    • 2
  1. 1.Division of BiochemistryNorth East London PolytechnicLondonUnited Kingdom
  2. 2.Department of Obstetrics & GynaecologyThe London HospitalLondonUnited Kingdom
  3. 3.Department of Obstetrics & GynaecologyUnited Medical School's (Guy's)London Bridge, LondonUnited Kingdom
  4. 4.Department of Obstetrics & GynaecologyRoyal North Shore Hospital of SydneySt. Leonards, N.S.W.Australia

Personalised recommendations