Quantification of circulating cell-free DNA (cfDNA) in urine using a newborn piglet model of asphyxia

Autoři: Polona Rajar aff001;  Monica Åsegg-Atneosen aff001;  Ola Didrik Saugstad aff001;  Rønnaug Solberg aff001;  Lars Oliver Baumbusch aff001
Působiště autorů: Department of Pediatric Research, Division of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine, Oslo University Hospital Rikshospitalet, Oslo, Norway aff001;  University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway aff002;  Department of Pediatrics, Vestfold Hospital Trust, Tønsberg, Norway aff003
Vyšlo v časopise: PLoS ONE 14(12)
Kategorie: Research Article
prolekare.web.journal.doi_sk: 10.1371/journal.pone.0227066


Cell free DNA (cfDNA) in plasma has been described as a potential diagnostic indicator for a variety of clinical conditions, including neonatal hypoxia. Neonatal hypoxia or perinatal asphyxia is a severe medical condition caused by a temporary interruption in oxygen availability during birth. Previously, we have reported temporal changes of cfDNA detected in blood in a newborn piglet model of perinatal asphyxia. However, cfDNA can also be found in other body liquids, opening for a less invasive diagnostic prospective. The objective of this study was to test and establish a reliable method for the isolation and quantification of cfDNA from urine and to explore changes in the quantities of cfDNA using a newborn piglet model of asphyxia. Animals were exposed to hypoxia-reoxygenation (n = 6), hypoxia-reoxygenation + hypothermia (n = 6) or were part of the sham-operated control group (n = 6) and urine samples (n = 18) were collected at 570 minutes post-intervention. Two alternative applications of cfDNA measurement were tested, an indirect method comprising a centrifugation step together with DNA extraction with magnetic beads versus a direct assessment based on two centrifugation steps. CfDNA concentrations were determined by a fluorescent assay using PicoGreen and by qRT-PCR. Genomic (gDNA) and mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) cfDNA were determined in parallel, taking into account potential differences in the rates of damages caused by oxidative stress. In contrast to previous publications, our results indicate that the direct method is insufficient. Application of the indirect method obtained with the fluorescence assay revealed mean cfDNA levels (SD) of 1.23 (1.76) ng/ml for the hypoxia samples, 4.47 (6.15) ng/ml for the samples exposed to hypoxia + hypothermia and 2.75 (3.62) ng/ml for the control animals. The mean cfDNA levels in piglets exposed to hypoxia + hypothermia revealed significantly higher cfDNA amounts compared to mean cfDNA levels in the samples purely exposed to hypoxia (p < 0.05); however, no significant difference could be determined when compared to the control group (p = 0.09). Application of the indirect method by qRT-PCR revealed mean cfDNA levels of mtDNA and gDNA at the detection limit of the technique and thus no reliable statistics could be performed between the observed cfDNA levels in the investigated groups. The methodology for detection and monitoring of cfDNA in urine has to be further optimized before it can be applied in a clinical setting in the future.

Klíčová slova:

Asphyxia – Blood – Blood plasma – Hypothermia – Hypoxia – Mitochondrial DNA – Pig models – Urine


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