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Neonatology. 2009;95(3):210-6. doi: 10.1159/000155652. Epub 2008 Sep 18.

Archived unfrozen neonatal blood spots are amenable to quantitative gene expression analysis.

Author information

1
Laboratory of Microarray Technology, Van Andel Research Institute, Grand Rapids, Mich. 49503, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

State laws in the USA mandate that blood be drawn from all newborn infants to screen for health-threatening conditions. These screening assays consume only a small portion of the blood samples, which are collected on filter paper ('Guthrie') cards. Many states archive unused blood spots, often in unrefrigerated storage.

OBJECTIVES:

While individual RNA transcripts have been identified from archived neonatal blood spots, no study to date has performed quantitative analysis of archived blood spot RNA.

METHODS:

We demonstrate that RNA can be isolated and amplified from newborn blood spots stored unfrozen for as long as 9 years, and can be analyzed by microarray and qPCR.

RESULTS:

Microarray assays of archived neonatal blood spots consistently detected 3,000-4,000 expressed genes with correlations of 0.90 between replicates. Blood spot mRNA is amenable to qPCR and we detected biologically relevant expression levels of housekeeping and immune-mediating genes.

CONCLUSIONS:

These experiments demonstrate the feasibility of using blood spots as a source of RNA which can be analyzed using quantitative microarray and qPCR assays. The application of these methods to the analysis of widely collected biological specimens may be a valuable resource for the study of perinatal determinants of disease development.

PMID:
18799893
PMCID:
PMC2693916
DOI:
10.1159/000155652
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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