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Blood Cells. 1979 Aug;5(3):405-19.

Radioimmunoassay of erythropoietin.


A radioimmunoassay for erythropoietin has been developed using 125I labeled pure human erythropoietin and an anti-erythropoietin antiserum produced in a rabbit immunized with human erythropoietin. Two techniques are presented for labeling erythropoietin, both resulting in an immunologically reactive labeled reactant. One method involves the use of lactoperoxidase and the other a reagent known as IODO-GEN. The second International Reference Preparation of human erythropoietin is used as a standard and a double antibody scheme is used for the separation of the free and antibody bound labeled hormone. The radioimmunoassay is sensitive to an absolute amount of erythropoietin equivalent to 0.4 milliunits. Bioassays for erythropoietin require approximately 100 times this amount. The use of pure erythropoietin as the labeled reactant has removed certain discrepancies seen in previous attempts to develop radioimmunoassays for this hormone, e.g., sera from patients without kidneys do not give the high values previously seen. Sera from anemic individuals not only give rise to high radioimmunoassay values but also show a parallel relationship with the erythropoietin standard when halving dilutions are analyzed. Desialated erythropoietin is also reactive with the same parallelism. Bleeding of a normal individual increases the serum erythropoietin level and transfusion decreases it. Erythropoietin from a variety of laboratory animals is also reactive in the radioimmunoassay, with very high values being observed in hypoxic animals.

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