Physiological and pathological changes of plasma urokinase-type plasminogen activator, plasminogen activator inhibitor-1, and urokinase-type plasminogen activator receptor levels in healthy females and breast cancer patients

Breast Cancer Res Treat. 1998 May;49(1):41-50. doi: 10.1023/a:1005997421733.


The plasma urokinase-type plasminogen activator (uPA), plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (PAI-1), and urokinase-type plasminogen activator receptor (uPAR) levels were measured in healthy volunteers and breast cancer patients. In pre-menopause healthy females, blood was sampled weekly during one menstruation cycle and menstruation phases (follicular, ovulatory, luteal) were determined by FSH/LH levels. uPA, PAI-1, and uPAR levels were at the nadir during ovulatory phase. uPA level was highest at follicular phase while PAI-1 level was highest at luteal phase. In comparison between pre- and post-menopause states, uPA and uPAR levels were higher in post-menopause state while PAI-1 level was higher in pre-menopause state. In breast cancer patients, uPA, PAI-1, and uPAR positive rates were low when we use the menopause-state-unmatched cut-off points. As we adjusted the cut-off points by menopause states, the PAI-1 positivity increased mainly in post-menopause cancer patients. These findings suggest that there is a minor but possible sequential change of these molecules during menstruation cycle which might blur the pathological positivity in pre-menopause cancer patients. The pathological elevation of PAI-1 was well detected in post-menopause cancer patients, but this elevation did not correlate with tumor burden such as number of metastatic sites or metastatic location. In conclusion, adjustment of physiological changes of uPA, PAI-1, and uPAR is required in determining pathological elevation of the plasma levels in cancer patients, especially in females.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Breast Neoplasms / blood*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Menstrual Cycle / blood
  • Middle Aged
  • Plasminogen Activator Inhibitor 1 / blood*
  • Receptors, Cell Surface / blood*
  • Receptors, Urokinase Plasminogen Activator
  • Urokinase-Type Plasminogen Activator / blood*


  • PLAUR protein, human
  • Plasminogen Activator Inhibitor 1
  • Receptors, Cell Surface
  • Receptors, Urokinase Plasminogen Activator
  • Urokinase-Type Plasminogen Activator