Expression Levels for Many Genes in Human Peripheral Blood Cells are Highly Sensitive to ex Vivo Incubation

E. Baechler, F. Batliwalla, G. Karypis, P. Gaffney, K. Moser, W. Ortmann, K. Espe, S. Balasubramanian, K. Hughes, J. Chan, A. Begovich, S. Chang, P. Gregersen, and T. Behrens
Genes and Immunity, Vo. 5, No. 5, pp. 347 - 353, 2004
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Monitoring of gene and protein expression in peripheral blood cells has significant potential for improving the diagnosis and
therapy of many human diseases. As genomic-scale microarray and proteomic technologies are applied to peripheral blood, it
is important to consider the variables that may affect interpretation of data. Here we report experiments performed to identify
genes that are particularly sensitive to ex vivo handling prior to RNA extraction for gene expression microarrays or quantitative
real-time RT-PCR assays. We examined Affymetrix gene expression in samples from eight normal individuals where blood was
processed for RNA either immediately after blood draw or the next day following overnight incubation. These studies identified
hundreds of genes that are sensitive to ex vivo handling of blood, and suggest that this is an important variable to consider
when designing and interpreting human PBMC experiments.
Research topics: Bioinformatics