Baboon serum samples were resolved by starch gel electrophoresis and polyacrylamide gradient gel electrophoresis and stained with naphthol substrates for esterase activity. An esterase that hydrolyzed α‐naphtyl butyrate in preference to α‐naphthyl acetate was found in very high activities in some individuals but not others. It migrated just cathodal of the albumin band in starch gels. In polyacrylamide gradient gels, it co‐migrated with albumin and had an apparent molecular weight of approximately 65,000 daltons. Electrophoretic analysis by gel electrophoresis of random serum samples from male and female baboons indicated that this esterase was present only in the sera of pregnant baboons. Further investigation of serial samples collected from carefully monitored baboons confirmed that the amount of activity of this esterase was correlated with stage of pregnancy. Therefore, it was named pregnancy esterase (PE). PE was detectable by gel electrophoresis and chromogenic staining techniques as early as day 30 of pregnancy; its activity gradually increased with progressive pregnancy and reached maximum activity near full term (182 days). Soon after parturition, the activity of PE decreased rapidly and was not detected in maternal sera by day 14 postpartum. No evidence of PE was detected in sera of pregnant humans.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Animal Science and Zoology