Background: As RNA is labile, we investigated whether circulating RNA in human plasma may be present in a particle-associated form. Methods: Blood was collected from 27 healthy individuals and 16 hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) patients. The plasma from each individual was processed by two means: filtration through filters with different pore sizes (from 5 μm to 0.22 μm) and ultracentrifugation. We assessed plasma RNA content by a real-time quantitative reverse transcription-PCR assay for glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPDH) transcripts and plasma DNA by a real-time quantitative PCR assay for the β-globin gene. Results: The plasma GAPDH mRNA concentrations in the healthy individuals were significantly different in every pair of these filter sizes (P <0.05 for each pair). Overall, the plasma GAPDH mRNA concentration was higher by a median of 15-fold (interquartile range, 10- to 24-fold) in the paired unfiltered sample than in the sample filtered through a 0.22 μm filter. In contrast, no significant difference was seen in β-globin DNA concentrations among different pore-size-filtered plasma samples (P = 0.455). Similarly, a significant difference was observed for RNA, but not DNA, between unfiltered plasma and ultracentrifuged plasma (P <0.05). No significant difference in GAPDH mRNA concentrations was seen between the 0.22-μm-filtered plasma samples and the ultracentrifuged plasma samples (P >0.05). In HCC patients, filtration with a 0.22 μm filter produced a median 9.3-fold (interquartile range, 6.9- to 311-fold) reduction in GAPDH mRNA concentration in plasma. Plasma GAPDH mRNA concentrations in HCC patients were significantly higher than those in healthy individuals, both with or without filtration (P <0.05 for filtered plasma samples; P <0.005 for unfiltered plasma sampies). Conclusions: A substantial proportion of plasma mRNA species is particle-associated. In HCC patients, both circulating particle- and non-particle-associated plasma RNA are increased.
|Number of pages||6|
|Publication status||Published - 5 Aug 2002|
- Clinical Biochemistry
- Biochemistry, medical