Plasma Proteins

What Is Blood Plasma/ protein: Components and Function

Albumin (55-65%) and globulins (25-35%) alone represent approximately 95% of circulating plasma proteins, which together constitute approximately 7% of the plasma; their quantity and respective proportions can be assessed starting from a simple blood test.

Furthermore, the qualitative contribution of the various protein fractions can be evaluated by electrophoresis, therefore subjecting the plasma proteins to an electric field, placed in a support on which they can slide (cellulose acetate, agar gel or polyacrylamide gel).

The pull towards the positive pole (anode) depends on the electric charge, mass and shape of the plasma protein; electrophoresis is therefore useful for differentiating the causes of hyper and hypoproteinemia (increases and decreases in plasma proteins), characterizing them as selective (increase/decrease of a single fraction) or non-selective (generalized increase/decrease), and detecting the presence of abnormal proteins (such as monoclonal gammopathies, deriving from an altered synthesis of immunoglobulins supported by benign or malignant alterations of the immune system, from which clones of B lymphocytes originate that hypersynthesize a single type of antibody).

Electrophoresis is performed on serum, in which, however, fibrinogen is normally absent, which alone represents 4% of plasma proteins.

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