A rapid, specific radioimmunoassay has been used to measure Tamm-Horsfall glycoprotein (TH glycoprotein) in urine. The apparent concentration increased with increasing dilution of urine in water, reaching a plateau at 1 in 20. This increase was greater the higher the osmolality and TH glycoprotein concentration and the lower the pH of the original sample. A dilution of 1 in 100 was chosen for routine assay. Whole urine was centrifuged and the dissolved precipitate and supernatant assayed to quantify the proportion of TH glycoprotein of TH glycoprotein initially present in highly aggregated form. This correlated positively and significantly with increasing osmolality, decreasing pH and increasing TH glycoprotein concentration. When the urine was diluted 1 in 100 in water, no TH glycoprotein was precipitated by centrifugation and the measured concentrations were unaffected by alterations of urine pH or calcium concentration or by addition of sodium dodecyl sulphate. Parallelism was demonstrated between the diluted samples and the disaggregated standard preparation. Recovery of added standard to diluted urine varied between 96 and 114%. The apparent concentration of TH glycoprotein in neat or diluted urine was not affected by freezing or by storage at 4 degrees C or room temperature for at least 2 days. A physiological range for the urinary excretion rate was established as 22-56 mg/24 h, based on samples from 29 individuals with normal renal function, as defined by their creatinine clearance. There was no significant correlation between serum concentrations of TH glycoprotein and its urinary excretion rate, nor between urinary excretion rate and creatinine clearance.

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