3 years ago

Effect of formalin fixation on pcr amplification of DNA isolated from healthy autopsy tissues

Katarina Vitošević, Miloš Todorović, Tatjana Varljen, Živana Slović, Stevan Matić, Danijela Todorović

Publication date: Available online 15 September 2018

Source: Acta Histochemica

Author(s): Katarina Vitošević, Miloš Todorović, Tatjana Varljen, Živana Slović, Stevan Matić, Danijela Todorović


The aim of this study is to investigate the effects of formalin fixation on the degradation of DNA molecules in five different healthy tissues exempted during the autopsy, as well as the selection of the method that is most suitable for the DNA isolation. Heart muscle, liver, brain, lung and kidney tissue obtained from the healthy people who suddenly died from a violent death were used. The parts of tissue were fixed in 10% phosphate-buffered formalin as well as in 4% unbuffered formalin at room temperature. Morphology of tissue was studied using H&E staining. The DNA was isolated 6 h, 1–7 days (every 24 h), 10, 14, 28 days and 2 months after fixation using two different methods: extraction with phenol-chloroform-isoamyl alcohol as well as with PureLink Genomic DNA Kit. Yield and purity of the DNA samples were measured spectrophotometrically at 260 nm and 280 nm. The PCR amplifications of the glycerol-3-phosphate dehydrogenase 1 (GPD1, 150 bp), ß actin (ACTB, 262 bp) and ribosomal protein L4 (RPL4, 407 bp) genes were performed to evaluate the degree of DNA fragmentation. The RPL4 gene was amplified up to 72 h, ACTB gene up to 14 days and GPD1 gene up to 28 days from tissue fixed in phosphate-buffered formalin using phenol-chloroform-isoamylalcohol protocol for DNA isolation. Liver and kidney gave better results of PCR amplification, but statistical significance between tissues was not found. Preserving period, fixative and DNA extracting method are important factors for successful PCR amplification. The healthy tissue, fixed in phosphate-formalin up to 28 days, can be useful source in molecular studies. Tissues fixed in unbuffered formalin are suitable for molecular analysis up to 7 days.

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