Studies have been made of the factors affecting the specificity of the interaction between high molecular weight dextran sulphate and low-density lipoproteins, both in pure solution and in serum. The results have been used in the development of a simple assay method for the serum concentration of low-density lipoproteins in small volumes of serum. The results obtained by this assay procedure have been found to correlate acceptably with parallel estimations of low-density lipoproteins by an ultracentrifugal technique and by paper electrophoresis.
The technique has been applied to a survey of serum levels of these proteins in a normal population. The results have been compared with data in the literature. Satisfactory agreement was found between mean levels, matched for age and sex, between the dextran sulphate method and those methods based ultimately on chemical estimation of one or more components of the isolated lipoproteins. A systematic difference was observed when the dextran sulphate method was compared with estimates based on analytical ultracentrifugation or turbidimetry using amylopectin sulphate.
Some indication of the range of application of the dextran sulphate method in clinical chemistry is provided.
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