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PLoS One. 2019 Jul 3;14(7):e0218797. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0218797. eCollection 2019.

Cold storage conditions modify microRNA expressions for platelet transfusion.

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Department of Anesthesiology and Critical Care, Kyoto Prefectural University of Medicine, Kyoto, Japan.
Department of Molecular, Cellular and Biomedical Sciences, CUNY School of Medicine, City College of New York, New York, NY, United States of America.
Department of Anesthesiology, Otokoyama Hospital, Kyoto, Japan.
Thermo Fisher Scientific, Life Technologies Japan Ltd., Life Solutions Group, Tokyo, Japan.
Department of Transfusion Medicine and Cell Therapy, Kyoto Prefectural University of Medicine, Kyoto, Japan.
Department of Anesthesiology and Critical Care, Kansai Medical University, Osaka, Japan and Outcomes Research Consortium, Cleveland, OH, United States of America.


MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small RNA molecules that modulate gene and protein expression in hematopoiesis. Platelets are known to contain a fully functional miRNA machinery. While platelets used for transfusion are normally stored at room temperature, recent evidence suggests more favorable effects under a cold-storage condition, including higher adhesion and aggregation properties. Thus, we sought to determine whether functional differences in platelets are associated with the differential profiling of platelet miRNA expressions. To obtain the miRNA expression profile, next-generation sequencing was performed on human platelets obtained from 10 healthy subjects. The miRNAs were quantified after being stored in three different conditions: 1) baseline (before storage), 2) stored at 22°C with agitation for 72 h, and 3) stored at 4°C for 72 h. Following the identification of miRNAs by sequencing, the results were validated at the level of mature miRNAs from 18 healthy subjects, by using quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR). Differential expression was observed for 125 miRNAs that were stored at 4°C and 9 miRNAs stored at 22°C as compared to the baseline. The validation study by qPCR confirmed that storage at 4°C increased the expression levels (fold change 95% CI) of mir-20a-5p (1.87, p<0.0001), mir-10a-3p (1.88, p<0.0001), mir-16-2-3p (1.54, p<0.01), and mir-223-5p (1.38, p<0.05), compared with those of the samples stored at 22°C. These results show that miRNAs correlate with platelet quality under specific storage conditions. The data indicate that miRNAs could be potentially used as biomarkers of platelet quality.

Conflict of interest statement

Satoshi Murakami was employee of Thermo Fisher scientific, Lifetechnologies Japan ltd. This commercial affiliation does not alter our adherence to all PloS ONE policies.

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