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A2M, Alpha-2-Macroglobulin, Alpha 2 Macroglobulin, α 2-Macroglobulin

A2-Macroglobulin

As its name suggests, alpha-2-macroglobulin is a large protein. It is synthesized in the liver. Its main function is to inhibit the activity of certain enzymes to ensure correct blood clotting. Alpha-2-macroglobulin is also an acute-phase protein. Levels tend to increase somewhat in an entire series of inflammatory attacks and to be low in cases of severe liver damage.

The interest for alpha-2-macroglobulin in electrophoresis is due to its large size. It is so big that it is held in the blood even in the most severe of kidney conditions. A high percentage of alpha-2-macrobglobulin (but not the level in grams per litre) therefore indicates that proteins of smaller sizes were lost by a damaged kidney (nephrotic syndrome).

Term of the Week

Hot zone

A hot zone is a section of a facility (sometimes an entire facility or even a city district) where there is a high risk of contamination by patients with an infectious disease. All individuals entering a hot zone must respect appropriate protective measures. By analogy, “cold zone” and “warm zone” are used to refer to areas where there is no infected individual or only individuals suspected of having an infection.