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Mol Biol Rep. 2016 Aug;43(8):837-47. doi: 10.1007/s11033-016-4015-x. Epub 2016 Jun 10.

Validation of reference genes for quantitative real-time PCR in valproic acid rat models of autism.

Author information

1
College of Life Sciences, Shaanxi Normal University, No 620 West Chang'an Avenue Chang'an District, Xi'an, 710119, Shaanxi, China.
2
Department of Anatomy, Xi'an Medical University, Xi'an, 710021, Shaanxi, China.
3
Key Laboratory of Modern Teaching Technology, Ministry of Education, Xi'an, 710062, Shaanxi, China. yingfang_tian@snnu.edu.cn.
4
College of Life Sciences, Shaanxi Normal University, No 620 West Chang'an Avenue Chang'an District, Xi'an, 710119, Shaanxi, China. yingfang_tian@snnu.edu.cn.

Abstract

Autism is a neurodevelopmental disorder, and embryonic exposure to valproic acid (VPA) in rodents is the most frequently studied environmentally triggered autism models. Valproic acid can affect gene transcription as a histone deacetylase inhibitor, and thus may alter the expression of the most genes including reference genes. The aim of the current study is to validate suitable reference genes for quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR) quantification in prefrontal cortex and hippocampus of VPA rat models of autism. Female rats received a single intraperitoneal injection of 400 mg/kg sodium VPA at day 12.5 post-conception and controls were injected with saline. Male offspring were used to observe the expression of nine commonly used reference genes by qPCR, and the data were analyzed by four commonly used reference selection program including geNorm, BestKeeper, NormFinder and RefFinder. The results showed that VPA affected the expression of these commonly used reference genes in prefrontal cortex and hippocampus on postnatal 3, 5 weeks and 80 days, Gapdh and Actin, two very frequently used reference genes, were identified as the least stable genes in VPA group. Hprt1 was selected as the most stable gene, and Hmbs and Tbp were the optimum gene pair in prefrontal cortex and hippocampus across all VPA and controls. Problematically, the use of unstable reference genes results in calculation of different PGRN mRNA expression levels. The results suggest that selection of suitable references is critical for accurate mRNA quantification, and specifically in VPA induced rat models of autism.

KEYWORDS:

Autism; Progranulin; Real-time PCR; Reference genes; Valproic acid

PMID:
27287459
DOI:
10.1007/s11033-016-4015-x
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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