Binding of lithium and boron to human plasma proteins Academic Article uri icon

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abstract

  • The binding of lithium and boron, at normal physiological levels, to plasma proteins has been investigated by the techniques of precipitation with ethyl alcohol and gel chromatography. Assays of lithium and boron were made by thermal neutron activation and mass spectrometric assay of 3He and 4He. Results of alcohol precipitation experiments for plasma from two apparently healthy donors showed that 13+/-4% and 16+/-3% of the lithium in plasma is protein bound, but essentially no boron is bound under the conditions used. We believe that because of denaturation of proteins which occurs during alcohol precipitation, these percentages represent lithium and boron tightly bound to protein molecules. The results of the gel-chromatography experiment, on the other hand, showed that lithium and boron are bound to a wide range of plasma proteins, from low (approximately 60,000 amu) to high (approximately 1,000,000 amu) molecular weights, and to very low- (approximately 6000 amu) molecular-weight ligands. Although a clear identification of the specific proteins which bind lithium and boron cannot be made at present, some possibilities can be suggested.

publication date

  • December 1998