Rapid detection of macroprolactin in the form of prolactin-immunoglobulin G complexes by immunoprecipitation with anti-human IgG-agarose.

Research paper by J J Schiettecatte, J J De Schepper, B B Velkeniers, J J Smitz, A A Van Steirteghem

Indexed on: 19 Jan '02Published on: 19 Jan '02Published in: Clinical chemistry and laboratory medicine


Immunoprecipitation with anti-human immunoglobulin G-agarose was evaluated for the detection of prolactin-immunoglobulin G (PRL-IgG) complexes in macroprolactinemic samples from hyperprolactinemic patients (prolactin measured using the automated Elecsys PRL assay; Roche Diagnostics, Mannheim, Germany). Using the polyethylene glycol (PEG) precipitation test on serum samples with PRL above 1000 mIU/l, we detected macroprolactin in 38 out of 175 samples with a recovery below 50%. Gel filtration chromatography on a subset of hyperprolactinemic samples confirmed that macroprolactin was the predominant immunoreactive form of PRL in samples which showed a recovery < or = 50%. In 37 out of 38 samples containing macroprolactin, immunoprecipitation with anti-human IgG (anti-hIgG)-agarose revealed a higher PRL-binding (19.1-91.3%) than in the sera containing monomeric PRL (< 10%). In conclusion, we found that PEG precipitation detected macroprolactin in 21.7% of samples with elevated PRL levels as measured by the Elecsys PRL assay, and that in the vast majority of these samples the presence of PRL-IgG complexes could be demonstrated by immunoprecipitation with anti-hIgG-agarose. In view of the high prevalence of PRL-IgG complexes in hyperprolactinemic patients and the simplicity of the test, immunoprecipitation with anti-hIgG-agarose might play a role in the routine laboratory handling of hyperprolactinemic samples, especially with regards to PRL assays where PEG causes interference.