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Placental Lactogen (HPL)

Human Placental Lactogen Protein (hPL) is a dimer of two polypeptide chains of equivalent weight (19.000) with lactogenic, luteotropic and growth activities. hPL, which is produced by trophoblastic cells of the normal placenta or by trophoblastic tumor tissue, has an amino acid composition quite similar to that of hGH, and to a lesser extent to that of prolactin. hPL becomes detectable in serum from about 6th week of pregnancy : later on hPL levels in serum increase progressively throughout pregnancy to reach a plateau of 2-10 μg/ml by the 34th week reflecting directly the growth of the placental tissue. Because of its short plasma half-life (± 20 minutes), hPL becomes undetectable in the serum 4 hours after delivery.

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