Key Advantages

  • Measures PLA2 in urine
  • PLA2 is considered to be a good marker for increased risk of developing or worsening of inflammatory
  • conditions
  • PLA2 can be easily sampled along with the Organic Acid Test (OAT)
  • Easy-to-understand Results


Great Plains are the only commercial lab currently offering PLA2 level measurement as a urine test. PLA2 is elevated in a wide range of inflammation-related disorders and is considered a good marker for increased risk of developing or worsening of inflammatory conditions. PLA2 levels can easily be sampled along with the organic acid test, offering a powerful new combination of clinical insights.

Bee stings and venomous snake bites cause immediate inflammation, resulting in pain and swelling. The enzyme in venom that triggers this immune response is phospholipase A2. This enzyme is also present in human tissue. During infection, PLA2 activates a cascade that results in the destruction of the cell membranes of invading microbes. The products of the PLA2 reaction responsible for eliminating these organisms, lysolecithins and free fatty acids, are powerful detergents that damage cell membranes, denature proteins, and disrupt their function. However, this killing mechanism comes at a cost to the human host. Lysolecithin products are involved in the pain response and cause hemolysis of erythrocytes. The most common free fatty acid produced by PLA2is arachidonic acid, which can increase the production of powerful mediators of inflammation: prostaglandins, leukotrienes, and thromboxanes, collectively called eicosanoids. Release of these mediators initiates the pain, swelling, and other unpleasant symptoms we experience as part of an inflammatory response.

Excess PLA2 not only causes local damage, but can be transported by the blood vessels to other parts of the body, causing widespread tissue damage. Normal amounts of PLA2 are involved in remodeling cell membranes and changing cell architecture, but sustained release of PLA2 and the resulting inflammation is implicated in the development of chronic conditions including multiple sclerosis, cardiovascular disease, rheumatoid arthritis, gastrointestinal disorders, allergies, and neuropsychiatric disorders.