A high pressure liquid chromatography method for separation of prolactin forms

Damon A. Bell, Kirsten Hoad, Lillian Leong, Juwaini Abu Bakar, Paul Sheehan, Samuel D. Vasikaran

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5 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Prolactin has multiple forms and macroprolactin, which is thought not to be bioavailable, can cause a raised serum prolactin concentration. Gel filtration chromatography (GFC) is currently the gold standard method for separating macroprolactin, but is labour-intensive. Polyethylene glycol (PEG) precipitation is suitable for routine use but may not always be accurate. We developed a high pressure liquid chromatography (HPLC) assay for macroprolactin measurement. Methods: Chromatography was carried out using an Agilent Zorbax GF-250 (9.4 × 250 mm, 4 μ1/2m) size exclusion column and 50 mmol/L Tris buffer with 0.15 mmol/L NaCl at pH 7.2 as mobile phase, with a flow rate of 1 mL/min. Serum or plasma was diluted 1:1 with mobile phase and filtered and 100 μ1/2L injected. Fractions of 155 μ1/2L were collected for prolactin measurement and elution profile plotted. The area under the curve of each prolactin peak was calculated to quantify each prolactin form, and compared with GFC. Results: Clear separation of monomeric-, big- and macroprolactin forms was achieved. Quantification was comparable to GFC and precision was acceptable. Total time from injection to collection of the final fraction was 16 min. Conclusions: We have developed an HPLC method for quantification of macroprolactin, which is rapid and easy to perform and therefore can be used for routine measurement.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)285-288
Number of pages4
JournalAnnals of Clinical Biochemistry
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - May 2012
Externally publishedYes

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