2006 Volume 31 Issue 5 Pages 509-519
In The Toxicogenomics Project, about 150 chemicals are administered to rats, and gene expression in the liver analyzed by Affymetrix GeneChip and stored in the database. As the quality of RNA greatly influences the accuracy of gene expression data, conditions of the storage of the sample are very important. Recently, an RNA stabilization solution, RNAlater®, has become commercially available. In this study, the new storage method was compared with the traditional storage method (stored in freezer or liquid nitrogen) under various conditions by looking at the degradation of RNA assessed by its total yield, OD260/280 ratio, 28S/18S ratio, and quantity of β-actin. It was confirmed that RNAlater® preserved the liver tissue sample by maintaining the quality of RNA for one year (in liquid N2 or −80°C), for 3 days (4°C), or for 2 hr (room temperature) without degradation of RNA. Quality of RNA samples dissolved in buffer RLT and stored at −20°C tended to decrease, but samples stored at −80°C were almost equivalent to those stored in liquid nitrogen. In conclusion, we recommend the following procedure for preservation of liver tissue for extraction of RNA: 1) tissues removed should be put into chilled RNAlater® as soon as possible; 2) samples in RNAlater ® must be stored overnight or longer at 4°C and can be left for as long as 2 weeks without freezing; 3) samples in RNAlater® can be stored for at least one year under less than −20°C and 4) samples dissolved in buffer RLT can be preserved at least for one year under −80°C.