Yanting Gao, Li Tang, Binghua Tang, Wenjun Cao, Xinghuai Sun
Department of Clinical Laboratory, Eye and ENT Hospital, Shanghai Medical College, Fudan University, Shanghai, China (mainland)
Med Sci Monit 2018; 24: LBR4481-4488
Available online: 2018-06-29
Serum biomarkers are associated with eye diseases, which results in the need for cryopreservation of serum samples. However, the effect on serum biomarker levels of repeatedly freezing and thawing remains poorly understood. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of repeated freeze-thaw on the serum levels of the protein, complement C3c (C3c), the micromolecule, uric acid (UA), and the enzyme, angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE).
MATERIAL AND METHODS: Serum samples were obtained from 50 patients who attended an ophthalmic outpatient department. Following baseline measurements, the serum samples from each subject were divided into aliquots and stored at –80°C for further analysis, following between one to six freeze-thaw cycles. The serum levels of C3c, UA, and ACE were measured immediately after the stored serum samples were thawed.
RESULTS: The serum level of C3c was significantly changed after the first freeze-thaw cycle (p<0.05), and a significant alteration in serum ACE levels occurred after the third freeze-thaw cycle (p<0.05). The serum UA level remained unchanged after all freeze-thaw cycles. Repeated freeze-thaw cycles significantly increased the serum levels of C3c and decreased the serum levels of ACE. The serum levels of C3c, UA, and ACE, respectively were significantly correlated (p<0.001), while the correlation coefficient for C3c and UA were improved when compared with ACE.
CONCLUSIONS: Repeated freeze-thaw can have variable effects on the serum levels of biomarkers, C3c, UA and ACE, which supports the need for quality control of cryopreserved serum for biomarker evaluation.
Keywords: Biological Markers, Biological Specimen Banks, serum, Specimen Handling