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January 1988, Volume 38, Issue 1

Original Article


Salimuddin Aziz  ( PMRC Research Centre, Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre, Karachi. )
Tariq Zia Lodi  ( PMRC Research Centre, Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre, Karachi. )
Talat Hassan  ( PMRC Research Centre, Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre, Karachi. )


Serum protein electrophoresis in 263 normal subjects (140 males, 123 females) of different age groups is reported. Mean values in males were higher for total proteins, albumin and beta globulin, while in females alpha-I and alpha-2 globulins were significantly high. Differences in total globulin and gama globulin fraction were not significant (JPMA 38: 18, 1988).


Blood plasma contains 90% water and 10% dissolved solids. Seventy percent of’ these dissolved solids are proteins, a mixture of simple and con¬jugated proteins which include lipo and glycopro¬teins. The total reported concentration is 6.5—7.5 grams/dl1. Albumin forms 50 to 60% of the total, followed by globulin 33% and fibrinogen 7%. Because of their different functions, metabolism and site of origin, plasma albumin and globulin are subjected to different influences and hence their concentration varies independent of one another. Alterations have been described in hepatic, renal, acute and chronic diseases. This study was designed to determine serum protein levels in healthy population of Karachi, and to compare them with similar studies in other parts of the world.


Aparently healthy adult subjects of dif­ferent age groups from schools, colleges and rela­tives accompanying patients to PMRC Research Centre at Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre, Karachi were included in the study. Each person was physically examined and his height, weight and blood pressure was recorded. Five milli­liters of blood was drawn for haemoglobin deter­mination, erythrocyte sedimentation rate, packed cell volume and protein analysis. For total proteins Abbe hand refractrometer was used and electro­phoresis was done by cellulose accetate membrane method.2


Two hundred and sixty three healthy subjects (140 males, 123 females) of different age groups were examined. Ages ranged from 10-60 years. Serum protein electrophoresis in males and females (Table I)

shows that total protein, albumin and beta fraction of globulin were significantly higher in males, while alpha-i and alpha-2 were significantly higher in females. Levels of total globulins and gama globulin though slightly higher in females, were not significantly different from those in males. The highest mean for total protein was found in age group 30-39 years in males and 50 years and above in females (Table II),

while the lowest levels were recorded in 45-49 age group amongst males and 30-39 years in females.


Serum proteins are responsible for vis­cosity of blood, regulation and distribution of fluid between blood and tissues, transpoi t of lipids, fat soluble vitamins, bile salts, hormones and some drugs. They are also a source of nutri­tion, coagulation of blood and production of antibodies. ­Protein values, albumin, globulin and levels of different globulin fractions vary in many acute and chronic disease states. To ascertain various degrees of alteration in total serum proteins and its fractions, it is necessary that baseline information of normal values should be available for our population. The present results are higher than similar studies done in England3, Bangladesh4  and Karachi5 (Table III).

Our results are more in agreement with Zuberi and Lodi5, though total proteins are slightly higher, while gama globulin show some decrease.


1. Ottaway, J.H. and Apps, D.K. Biochemistry.  4th ed. London, Bailliere Tindel 1984; p. 243.
2. Beckman Instruction Manual, 1965. R.M.4M-3P.21.
3. Gilliland, I.C., Johnston, R.N., Stradling, P. and Abdul-Wahab, F.M. Serum proteins in pulmonary tuberculosis.Br. Med. J., 1956; 1: 1460.
4. Abdur-Rahman, M. Blood protein disorder in pulmonary tuberculosis in East Pakistan. Pak J. Med. Res., 1962;2: 83
5. Zuberi, S.J. and Lodi, 1. Serum protein electro­phoresis in healthy subjects and patients with liver diseases. JPMA., 1978; 28: 140.

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