Analytical variables affecting exchangeable copper determination in blood plasma

Wayne Buckley; Richard Vanderpool
December 2008
BioMetals;Dec2008, Vol. 21 Issue 6, p601
Academic Journal
Abstract  To resolve discrepancies observed in the determination of plasma exchangeable Cu (also called direct reacting Cu or loosely bound Cu) by several methods, plasma storage techniques and various aspects of a stable isotope dilution procedure for exchangeable Cu were evaluated. Results indicated that the exchangeable Cu fraction of plasma increased with storage at room temperature, at 5°C and when subjected to repeated freeze/thaw cycles. Samples could be safely stored at −65°C. Exchange between added 65Cu2+ and endogenous plasma Cu rapidly went to completion in the isotope dilution procedure. Analytical results were unaffected by shaking method, sample size or the presence of heparin. A small difference was observed between serum and plasma. The determination of exchangeable Cu did not vary over a period of 4 h when plasma was exposed to 1.6 × 10−4-M sodium diethyldithiocarbamate (used in the isotope dilution method) but steadily increased when exposed to 1.1 × 10−2-M sodium diethyldithiocarbamate, which suggested that tightly bound Cu (probably in ceruloplasmin) was exchanging with isotopic tracer at the higher concentration. Determination of exchangeable Cu was constant from pH 7.2–8.5 but increased substantially at higher pH. Complete recovery of natural Cu added to plasma was obtained. Studies in solution indicated that 65Cu2+ exchanged readily with albumin- and amino acid-bound Cu. Ultrafiltration of plasma yielded a Cu fraction about half that of the exchangeable Cu fraction. We conclude that the stable isotope dilution procedure for plasma exchangeable Cu yields reliable, physiologically meaningful results.


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