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Application of native agarose gel electrophoresis of serum proteins in veterinary diagnostics

Jania, Bartosz, Andraszek, Katarzyna
Journal of Veterinary Research 2016 v.60 no.4 pp. 501-508
agar gel electrophoresis, agarose, diagnostic techniques, gels, humans, immunoglobulins, immunosuppression, infectious diseases, laboratory experimentation, liver function, myeloma, protein content, veterinary medicine
Electrophoretic techniques, used to separate mixtures of electrically charged particles, are widely used in science. One of these techniques, native protein electrophoresis in an agarose gel, is applied in human and veterinary medicine. Changes in the proportions of individual protein fractions correspond to significant changes in the physiology of the body. Although the pattern obtained by electrophoretic separation rarely indicates a specific disease, it provides valuable information for the differential diagnosis. Decades of research on the types of patterns obtained in the case of particular diseases have led to the accumulation of substantial knowledge. The paper presents the available information on this topic. Serum protein electrophoresis is recommended in cases of increased levels of total protein in order to reveal the nature of the process. The basic information which can be obtained from electrophoretic separation includes the immune status of the organism. Both increased antigenic stimulation and immunodeficiency are clearly visible in electropherograms. Moreover, the level of heterogeneity of the corresponding protein fractions can help to distinguish between infectious diseases and cancer - multiple myeloma - the latter producing a homogeneous immunoglobulin fraction. Analysis of other protein fractions helps to detect or confirm an ongoing inflammatory process and provides information regarding liver function. Even when the concentration of total protein is within the reference range, this analysis can be recommended as a basic laboratory test.