DataSheet1_Whole Blood Holding Time Prior to Plasma Processing Alters microRNA Expression Profile.xlsx (55.25 kB)
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DataSheet1_Whole Blood Holding Time Prior to Plasma Processing Alters microRNA Expression Profile.xlsx

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posted on 2022-01-14, 04:34 authored by Sung Hye Kim, David A. MacIntyre, Lynne Sykes, Maria Arianoglou, Phillip R. Bennett, Vasso Terzidou

MicroRNAs (miRNAs) can exhibit aberrant expression under different physiological and pathological conditions. Therefore, differentially expressed circulating miRNAs have been a focus of biomarker discovery research. However, the use of circulating miRNAs comes with challenges which may hinder the reliability for their clinical application. These include varied sample collection protocols, storage times/conditions, sample processing and analysis methods. This study focused on examining the effect of whole blood holding time on the stability of plasma miRNA expression profiles. Whole blood samples were collected from healthy pregnant women and were held at 4°C for 30 min, 2 h, 6 h or 24 h prior to processing for plasma isolation. Plasma RNA was extracted and the expression of 179 miRNAs were analyzed. Unsupervised principal component analysis demonstrated that whole blood holding time was a major source of variation in miRNA expression profiles with 53 of 179 miRNAs showing significant changes in expression. Levels of specific miRNAs previously reported to be associated with pregnancy-associated complications such as hsa-miR-150-5p, hsa-miR-191-5p, and hsa-miR-29a-3p, as well as commonly used endogenous miRNA controls, hsa-miR-16-5p, hsa-miR-25-3p, and hsa-miR-223-3p were significantly altered with increase in blood holding time. Current protocols for plasma-based miRNA profiling for diagnostics describe major differences in whole blood holding periods ranging from immediately after collection to 26 h after. Our results demonstrate holding time can have dramatic effects on analytical reliability and reproducibility. This highlights the importance of standardization of blood holding time prior to processing for plasma in order to minimize introduction of non-biological variance in miRNA profiles.