serum albumin

1. Biochem. the principal protein of blood plasma, important in osmotic regulation of the blood and transport of metabolites.
2. the commercial form of this substance, used in dye preparations, foodstuffs, and in medicine esp. in the treatment of shock.
[1875-80]

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  protein found in blood plasma that helps maintain the osmotic pressure between the blood vessels and tissues. Serum albumin accounts for 55 percent of the total protein in blood plasma. Circulating blood tends to force fluid out of the blood vessels and into the tissues, where it results in edema (swelling from excess fluid). The colloid nature of albumin—and, to a lesser extent, of other blood proteins called globulins (globulin)—keeps the fluid within the blood vessels. Albumin also acts as a carrier for two materials necessary for the control of blood clotting: (1) antithrombin, which keeps the clotting enzyme thrombin from working unless needed, and (2) heparin cofactor, which is necessary for the anticlotting action of heparin. The serum albumin level falls and rises in such liver disorders as cirrhosis or hepatitis. Transfusions of serum albumin are used to combat shock and whenever it is necessary to remove excess fluid from the tissues. Similar albumin compounds with other functions occur in plants, animal tissues, egg whites, and milk.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Serum albumin — Serum Se rum (s[=e] r[u^]m), n. [L., akin to Gr. ???, Skr. s[=a]ra curd.] (Physiol.) (a) The watery portion of certain animal fluids, as blood, milk, etc. (b) A thin watery fluid, containing more or less albumin, secreted by the serous membranes… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • serum albumin — n a crystallizable albumin or mixture of albumins that normally constitutes more than half of the protein in blood serum, that serves to maintain the osmotic pressure of the blood, and that is used in transfusions esp. for the treatment of shock… …   Medical dictionary

  • serum albumin — n. the most abundant protein of blood serum: it is synthesized by the liver and serves to regulate osmotic pressure and to carry certain metabolic products …   English World dictionary

  • Serum albumin — This article is about the family of mammalian albumin proteins. For the human variant, see human serum albumin. For the cow variant, see bovine serum albumin. Albumin PDB rendering based on 1e7h …   Wikipedia

  • serum albumin — noun albumin occurring in blood serum; serves to maintain the somatic pressure of the blood • Hypernyms: ↑albumin, ↑albumen • Substance Holonyms: ↑serum, ↑blood serum * * * noun : a crystallizable albumin or mixture of albumins that normally… …   Useful english dictionary

  • serum albumin — The main protein in blood plasma. Low levels of serum albumin occur in people with malnutrition, inflammation, and serious liver and kidney disease …   English dictionary of cancer terms

  • serum albumin — noun Date: 1879 a crystallizable albumin or mixture of albumins that normally constitutes more than half of the protein in blood serum and serves to maintain the osmotic pressure of the blood …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • serum albumin — A globular protein obtained from blood and body fluids. Bovine and human serum albumins are abbreviated BSA and HSA respectively …   Glossary of Biotechnology

  • serum albumin — se′rum albu′min n. biochem. the principal protein of blood plasma, important in osmotic regulation of the blood and transport of metabolites: used in the treatment of shock • Etymology: 1875–80 …   From formal English to slang

  • Human serum albumin — is the most abundant protein in human blood plasma. It is produced in the liver. Albumin comprises about half of the blood serum protein. It is soluble and monomeric. The gene for albumin is located on chromosome 4 and mutations in this gene can… …   Wikipedia

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