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Hormone Concentration (ng/ml)

FIGURE 3 (A) Competing reactions that form the basis of the radioimmunoassay. Labeled hormone (H) shown in blue competes with hormone in biological sample shown in black for a limiting amount of antibodies (Ab). As the concentration of hormone in the biological sample rises (rows 1, 2, and 3), decreasing amounts of the labeled hormone appear in the hormone-antibody (H-Ab) complex and the ratio of bound-to-free labeled hormone (B/F) decreases. (B) A typical standard curve used to estimate the amount of hormone in the biological sample. A B/F ratio of 50% corresponds to 12 ng/mL in this example.

retain its immunologic activity. For example, the biologically active portion of parathyroid hormone resides in the amino-terminal one-third of the molecule, but the carboxy-terminal portion formed by partial degradation of the hormone has a long half-life in blood and accounts for nearly 80% of the immunoreactive parathyroid hormone in human plasma. Similarly, biologically inactive prohormones may be detected. By and large, discrepancies between biologic activity and immunoactivity have not presented insurmountable difficulties and in several cases have even led to increased understanding.

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