We maintain this section to inform interested users about independent scientific studies conducted on MetaSystems products. We assume no responsibility or liability regarding the accuracy or correct use of the information or statements provided by external authors. The conclusions or statements expressed in the publications listed are those of the external authors or researchers. The publications may involve user-specific adaptations of MetaSystems products. They are not intended for diagnostic use. For publications covered by the Intended Purpose of Metafer or Ikaros, please refer to the respective instructions for use (IFU).

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Int J Med Sci, 3, 124- 129

Low temperature tolerance of human embryonic stem cells.

B.C. Heng, K.J. Vinoth, H. Liu, M.P. Hande, T. Cao

This study investigated the effects of exposing human embryonic stem cells (hESC) to 4oC and 25oC for extended durations of 24h and 48h respectively. Cell survivability after low temperature exposure was assessed through the MTT assay. The results showed that hESC survivability after exposure to 25oC and 4oC for 24h was 77.3 ± 4.8 % and 64.4 ± 4.4 % respectively (significantly different, P < 0.05). The corresponding survival rates after 48h exposure to 25oC and 4oC was 71.0 ± 0.5 % and 69.0 ± 2.3 % respectively (not significantly different, P > 0.05). Spontaneous differentiation of hESC after low temperature exposure was assessed by morphological observations under bright-field and phase-contrast microscopy, and by immunocytochemical staining for the pluripotency markers SSEA-3 and TRA-1-81. hESC colonies were assigned into 3 grades according to their degree of spontaneous differentiation: (1) Grade A which was completely or mostly undifferentiated, (2) Grade B which was partially differentiated, and (3) Grade C which was mostly differentiated. In all low temperature exposed groups, about 95% of colonies remain undifferentiated (Grade A), which was not significantly different (P > 0.05) from the unexposed control group maintained at 37oC. Additionally, normal karyotype was maintained in all low temperature-exposed groups, as assessed by fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) of metaphase spreads with telomere and centromere-specific PNA probes. Further analysis with m-FISH showed that chromosomal translocations were absent in all experimental groups. Hence, hESC possess relatively high-tolerance to extended durations of low temperature exposure, which could have useful implications for the salvage of hESC culture during infrequent occurrences of incubator break-down and power failure.

Int. J. Molecular Medicine, 17, 209- 213

Molecular cytogenetic characterization of the mouse cell line WMP2 by spectral karyotyping and multicolor banding applying murine probes.

C. Karst, V. Trifonov, S.A. Romanenko, U. Claussen, K. Mrasek, S. Michel, P. Avner, T. Liehr

The Moloney murine leukemia virus-transformed suspension cell line WMP2 is derived from wild mice (Mus musculus) of the WMP/WMP strain. These mice carry nine pairs of metacentric Robertsonian translocation chromosomes. As the chromosomes of the wild-type mouse are all acrocentric, metaphase spreads of the WMP2 cells seam to be highly suited for physical gene mapping. Here we studied the WMP2 line using spectral karyotyping (SKY) combined with new established mouse specific multicolor banding (mcb) probes for the chromosomes X, 3, 4, 6 and 18. SKY revealed that the WMP2 cell line developed further four derivative chromosomes. After application of mcb five previously unrecognizable intrachromosomal rearrangements with 9 breakpoints were detected for the studied chromosomes.

Cytogenet. Genome Res., 112, 194- 201

Sex-specific telomere length profiles and age-dependent erosion dynamics of individual chromosome arms in humans.

S. Mayer, S. Brüderlein, S. Perner, I. Waibel, A. Holdenried, N. Ciloglu, C. Hasel, T. Mattfeldt, K.V. Nielsen, P. Möller

During aging, telomeres are gradually shortened, eventually leading to cellular senescence. By T/C-FISH (telomere/centromere-FISH), we investigated human telomere length differences on single chromosome arms of 205 individuals in different age groups and sexes. For all chromosome arms, we found a linear correlation between telomere length and donor age. Generally, males had shorter telomeres and higher attrition rates. Every chromosome arm had its individual age-specific telomere length and erosion pattern, resulting in an unexpected heterogeneity in chromosome-specific regression lines. This differential erosion pattern, however, does not seem to be accidental, since we found a correlation between average telomere length of single chromosome arms in newborns and their annual attrition rate. Apart from the above-mentioned sex-specific discrepancies, chromosome arm-specific telomere lengths were strikingly similar in men and women. This implies a mechanism that arm specifically regulates the telomere length independent of gender, thus leading to interchromosomal telomere variations.

Pharmacogen Genom, 16, 87- 99

Cytogenmetic biomarkers, urinary metabolites and metabolic gene polymorphisms in workers exposed to styrene.

L. Migliore, A. Naccarati, F. Coppedè, E. Bergamaschi, G. De Palma, A. Voho, P. Manini, H. Järventaus, A. Mutti, H. Norppa, A. Hirvonen

The present study comprised a biomonitoring study in 95 workers occupationally exposed to styrene and 98 unexposed controls, employing an integrated approach involving biomarkers of exposure, effect, and susceptibility. Airborne styrene was evaluated at workplace, and urinary styrene metabolites, mandelic acid (MA), phenylglyoxylic acid (PGA), vinylphenols (VPTs) and phenylhydroxyethylmercapturic acids (PHEMAs), were measured as biomarkers of internal dose. Cytogenetic alterations were evaluated by analysing the frequency of chromosomal aberrations (CAs) and micronucleated binucleated cells (MNBN) in peripheral blood lymphocytes. The micronucleus assay was coupled with centromeric fluorescence in situ hybridization to distinguish micronuclei (MN) arising from chromosomal breakage (C- MN) from those harboring whole chromosomes (C+ MN). The possible influence of genetic polymorphisms of xenobiotic-metabolizing enzymes involved in styrene biotransformation (EPHX1, GSTT1, GSTM1, GSTP1) and NAT2 on the cytogenetic endpoints was investigated. The exposed workers showed a significantly higher frequency of MNBN (13.8+/-0.5% versus 9.2+/-0.4%; P<0.001) compared to control subjects. The effect appeared to concern both C- and C+ MN. A positive correlation was seen between the frequency of C+ MN and urinary level of MA+PGA (P<0.05) and VPTs (P<0.001). Chromosome-type CAs positively correlated with airborne styrene level and VPTs (P<0.05), whereas chromatid-type CAs correlated with PHEMAs (P<0.05). Workers bearing GSTM1 null genotype showed lowered levels of PHEMAs (P<0.001). The GSTT1 null genotype was associated with increased MNBN frequencies in the exposed workers (P<0.05) and the fast activity EPHX genotype with a moderate decrease in both MNBN and CAs in the controls. Our results suggest that occupational exposure to styrene has genotoxic effects that are potentiated by the GSTT1 gene deletion. These observations may have relevance considering the risk of lymphatic and haematopoietic malignancies tentatively associated with styrene exposure.

Modern Pathology, 19, 1027- 1033

Automated analysis of fluorescence in situ hybridization on fixed, paraffin-embedded whole tissue sections in B-cell lymphoma.

K.K. Reichard, B.K. Hall, A. Corn, M.K. Foucar, J. Hozier

Certain recurrent cytogenetic abnormalities are diagnostic of a specific neoplasm and may portend prognosis. As conventional cytogenetics may not reveal a neoplastic clone, and unfixed material for fluorescence in situ hybridization may be unavailable, performing fluorescence in situ hybridization on fixed tissues is diagnostically and prognostically valuable. Manual interpretation of fluorescence in situ hybridization signals may be difficult on paraffin-embedded tissue sections due to truncated nuclei. Therefore, we investigated the use of an automated image acquisition and analysis system (MetaSystems) for interpretation of fluorescence in situ hybridization signals in tissue sections from dual fusion translocation probes. Three probe sets were analyzed on archival specimens with a confirmed diagnosis of mantle cell lymphoma, follicular lymphoma or Burkitt lymphoma. 100% of mantle cell lymphomas (7/7) were positive for t(11;14), 91% of follicular lymphomas (10/11) for t(14;18) and 100% of Burkitt lymphomas (9/9) for t(8;14). Successful hybridization was achieved using various tissue fixatives and fluorescence in situ hybridization interpretation was blinded with respect to the underlying diagnosis. Based on these results, automated analysis of fluorescence in situ hybridization on fixed tissues is accurate and valuable in the evaluation of B-cell lymphoma, and may provide pertinent diagnostic and prognostic information.

Int. J. Cancer, 118, 1603- 1608

Visualization of episomal and integrated Epstein-Barr virus DNA by fiber fluorescence in situ hybridization.

J. Reisinger, S. Rumpler, T. Lion, P.F. Ambros

<p>For many Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)-associated malignancies, it is still a matter of controversy whether infected cells harbor episomal or chromosomally integrated EBV genomes or both. It is well established that the expression of EBV genes per se carries oncogenic potential, but the discrimination between episomal and integrated forms is of great relevance because integration events can contribute to the oncogenic properties of EBV, whereas host cells that exclusively harbor viral episomes may not carry the risks mediated by chromosomal integration. This notion prompted us to establish a reliable technique that not only allows to unequivocally discriminate episomal from integrated EBV DNA, but also provides detailed insights into the genomic organization of the virus. Here, we show that dynamic molecular combing of host cell DNA combined with fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) using EBV-specific DNA probes facilitate unambiguous discrimination of episomal from integrated viral DNA. Furthermore, the detection of highly elongated internal repeat 1 (IR1) sequences provides evidence that this method permits detection of major genomic alterations within the EBV genome. Thus, fiber FISH may also provide valuable insights into the genomic organization of viral genomes other than EBV.</p>

Am J Surg Pathol, 30, 828- 837

Fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) on touch preparations: a reliable method for detecting loss of heterozygosity at 1p and 19q in oligodendroglial tumors.

D. Scheie, P. A. Andresen, M. Cvancarova, A. S. B\o, E. helseth, K. Skullerud, K. Beiske

Combined loss of heterozygosity (LOH) on 1p and 19q is reported in 50% to 90% of oligodendroglial tumors and has emerged as a strong and favorable prognostic factor. Fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) are the most widely used techniques. The aim of this study was to evaluate the reliability of FISH to predict LOH at 1p and 19q when performed on touch preparations from 40 oligodendroglial tumors, even if the majority of the nuclei showed chromosomal imbalance. PCR was used as the gold standard. The presence of none or one target signal was reported as FISH-LOH, whereas all other losses were defined as FISH-imbalance. The sum of nuclei with FISH-LOH and imbalance was calculated in each case (FISH-sum) and cut-off values were defined as the mean FISH-sum value in controls plus 3 standard deviations; 27.7% for 1p and 33.2% for 19q. These corresponded well with the optimal cut-off values for our data, calculated using the minimum error rate classification procedure (35.6% for 1p and 33.1% for 19q). Concurrent FISH and PCR results were encountered in 95% for 1p and 87.5% for 19q. FISH-sum was the best and simplest discriminating variable for correct classification of LOH status. Under these conditions, even a dominant population of nuclei showing FISH-imbalance represented an LOH status in the tumor cells. FISH on touch preparations is a quick and reliable method for 1p/19q testing, does not require normal DNA and can be easily performed in an immunohistochemistry unit.

Chromosoma, 115, 459- 467

The breakage-fusion-bridge (BFB) cycle as a mechanism for generating genetic heterogeneity in osteosarcoma.

S. Selvarajah, M. Yoshimoto, P.C. Park, G. Maire, J. Paderova, J. Bayani, G. Lim, K. Al-Romaih, J.A. Squire, M. Zielenska

Osteosarcoma (OS) is characterized by chromosomal instability and high copy number gene amplification. The breakage–fusion–bridge (BFB) cycle is a well-established mechanism of genome instability in tumors and in vitro models used to study the origins of complex chromosomal rearrangements and cancer genome amplification. To determine whether the BFB cycle could be increasing the de novo rate of formation of cytogenetic aberrations in OS, the frequency of anaphase bridge configurations and dicentric chromosomes in four OS cell lines was quantified. An increased level of anaphase bridges and dicentrics was observed in all the OS cell lines. There was also a strong association between the frequencies of anaphase bridges, dicentrics, centrosomal anomalies, and multipolar mitotic figures in all the OS cell lines, indicating a possible link in the mechanisms that led to the structural and numerical instabilities observed in OS. In summary, this study has provided strong support for the role of the BFB cycle in generating the extensive structural chromosome aberrations, as well as cell-to-cell cytogenetic variation observed in OS, thus conferring the genetic diversity for OS tumor progression.

Nucl Acids Res (ePub), 35, 0- 0

Human RAD18 is involved in S phase-specific single-strand break reapir without PCNA monoubiquitination.

N. Shiomi, M. Mori, H. Tsuji, T. Imai, H. Inoue, S. Tateishi, M. Yamaizumi, T. Shiomi

<p>Switching from a replicative to a translesion polymerase is an important step to further continue on replication at the site of DNA lesion. Recently, RAD18 (a ubiquitin ligase) was shown to monoubiquitinate proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA) in cooperation with RAD6 (a ubiquitin-conjugating enzyme) at the replication-stalled sites, causing the polymerase switch. Analyzing RAD18-knockout (RAD18-/-) cells generated from human HCT116 cells, in addition to the polymerase switch, we found a new function of RAD18 for S phase-specific DNA single-strand break repair (SSBR). Unlike the case with polymerase switching, PCNA monoubiquitination was not necessary for the SSBR. When compared with wild-type HCT116 cells, RAD18-/- cells, defective in the repair of X-ray-induced chromosomal aberrations, were significantly hypersensitive to X-ray-irradiation and also to the topoisomerase I inhibitor camptothecin (CPT) capable of inducing single-strand breaks but were not so sensitive to the topoisomerase II inhibitor etoposide capable of inducing double-strand breaks. However, such hypersensitivity to CPT observed with RAD18-/- cells was limited to only the S phase due to the absence of the RAD18 S phase-specific function. Furthermore, the defective SSBR observed in S phase of RAD18-/- cells was also demonstrated by alkaline comet assay.</p>

Appl Immunohistochem Mol Morphol, 14, 436- 440

Automation of manual components and image quantification of direct dual label fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) for HER2 gene amplification: A feasibility study.

R.R. Tubbs, J.D. Pettay, E. Swain, P.C. Roche, W. Powell, D.G. Hicks, T. Grogan

Determination of HER2 status by fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) in breast carcinoma correlates well with response to targeted therapy and prognosis. However, manual time consuming methods and quantification aspects of the procedure may be challenging for some laboratories. We examined the feasibility of automating these components of the FISH assay using a tissue microarray (TMA-118 clinically annotated cases) and a series of 41 whole sections. An in situ hybridization automated staining workstation was used to automate a programmed overnight start, on line baking, deparaffinization, cell conditioning, protease digestion, and prehybridization buffer washing. Dual label probe/target codenaturation/hybridization and stringency washing were done off line. The HER2 and CEP17 spot counts were quantified, and the HER2/CEP17 ratio calculated, via an imaging workstation. Results were benchmarked against manual counts for whole sections, and bright field in situ hybridization [silver in situ hybridization (SISH)] for the TMA. Automated FISH results using whole sections correlated well with manual results: HER2/CEP17 ratio correlation coefficient r = 0.9154, r = 0.8380, P < 0.0001. Correlation between automated and manual TMA FISH results was also excellent, and disease-free survival was significantly shorter (P < 0.001) for the HER2 amplified cases. Automation of the laborious manual prehybridization and image quantification components of FISH using directly labeled probes is feasible. Operational gains and enhanced consistency are inherent in this automated approach to HER2 clinical FISH testing.

Mutation Research, 603, 145- 150

Anti-genotoxic effect of Aloysia triphylla infusion against acrylamide-induced DNA damage as shown by the comet assay technique.

E. Zamorano-Ponce, C. Morales, D. Ramos, C. Sepúlveda, S. Cares, P. Rivera, J. Fernández, M.A. Carballo

<p>Aloysia triphylla a perennial, bushy plant originally from South America has long been used in traditional medicine. Its aqueous extract contains considerable amounts of polyphenolic compounds, namely flavonoids and phenolic acids. In view of the interest in natural phenolic compounds as antioxidant in preventive medicine, this study was undertaken to investigate the chemoprotective effects of cedron leaves infusion against the genetic damage induced by acrylamide (AA) by using the alkaline version of the comet assay technique. Mice were separated in nine groups (eight animals each): (I) untreated, (II) negative control, (III) treated with infusion of cedron leaves 5%, 20 days twice a day, (IV) treated with AA (5 mg/kg b.w.), (V) treated with AA (20 mg/kg b.w.), (VI) treated with AA (30 mg/kg b.w.), (VII) treated with AA (50 mg/kg b.w.), (VIII) pretreated with infusion and treated with AA (50 mg/kg b.w.) and (IX) positive control (cyclophosphamide, 20 mg/kg b.w.). Three hundred blast cells were digitally evaluated per animal from three different slides (100 each). Media of tail moment (TM) values were analyzed by ANOVA test. No statistical differences (p&gt;0.05) were found between untreated animals, negative control and infusion-treated mice. A single dose of AA-induced genetic damage as revealed by a statistically significant increase in TM values (p&lt;0.01). Pretreatment with infusion prior to AA injection significantly reduces the capacity of AA to induce genetic damage. In these conditions, tail moments values did not differ from data obtained in negative control (p&gt;0.05) and exhibit statistical differences from animals treated only with AA (p&lt;0.01). Cell viability was at least 90% in all cases as measured by the trypan blue exclusion method. The ferric reducing ability of plasma (FRAP) method reveals that the plasma of infusion-treated mice has a significantly higher antioxidant capacity than plasma from controls (p&lt;0.01). The results suggest that the infusion could exerts an in vivo chemo protective action, probably due to its scavenging potency towards free radicals.</p>

Radiat Environ Biophys, 44(3), 219–224
December, 2005

Space radiation does not induce a significant increase of intrachromosomalexchanges in astronauts' lymphocytes.

M. Horstmann, M. Durante, C. Johannes, R. Pieper, G. Obe

Chromosome aberration analysis in astronauts has been used to provide direct, biologically motivated estimates of equivalent doses and risk associated to cosmic radiation exposure during space flight. However, the past studies concentrated on measurements of dicentrics and translocations, while chromosome intrachanges (inversions) have never been measured in astronauts' samples. Recent data reported in the literature suggest that densely ionizing radiation can induce a large fraction of intrachanges, thus leading to the suspicion that interchanges grossly underestimate the cosmic radiation-induced cytogenetic damage in astronauts. We have analyzed peripheral blood lymphocytes from 11 astronauts involved in short- or long-term space flights in low-Earth orbit using high-resolution multicolor banding to assess the frequency of intrachromosomal exchanges in both pre- and post-flight samples. We did not detect any inversions in chromosome 5 from a total of 2800 cells in astronauts' blood. In addition, no complex type exchanges were found in a total of 3590 astronauts' lymphocytes analyzed by multifluor fluorescence in situ hybridisation. We conclude that, within the statistical power of this study, the analysis of interchanges for biological dosimetry in astronauts does not significantly underestimate the space radiation-induced cytogenetic damage, and complex-type exchanges or intrachanges have limited practical use for biodosimetry at very low doses.

World J Surg Oncol., 17, 35- 42

Secretory carcinoma of the breast containing the ETV6-NTRK3 fusion gene in a male: case report and review of the literature

C. Arce, D. Cortes-Padilla, D.G. Huntsman, M.A. Miller, A. Duennas-Gonzalez, A. Alvarado, V. Pérez, D. Gallardo-Rincón, F. Lara-Medina

SUMMARY: BACKGROUND: Secretory carcinoma (SC) of the breast is a rare and indolent tumor. Although originally described in children, it is now known to occur in adults of both sexes. Recently, the tumor was associated with the ETV6-NTRK3 gene translocation. CASE PRESENTATION: A 52-year-old male was diagnosed with secretory breast carcinoma and underwent a modified radical mastectomy. At 18 months the tumor recurred at the chest wall and the patient developed lung metastases. He was treated concurrently with radiation and chemotherapy without response. His tumor showed the ETV6-NTRK3 translocation as demonstrated by fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH). CONCLUSION: SC is a rare slow-growing tumor best treated surgically. There are insufficient data to support the use of adjuvant radiation or chemotherapy. Its association with the ETV6-NTRK3 fusion gene gives some clues for the better understanding of this neoplasm and eventually, the development of specific therapies.

BJU International, 95, 1219- 1225

Quantitative molecular urinary cytology by fluorescence in situ hybridization: a tool for tailoring surveillance of patients with superficial bladder cancer?

M. Bollmann, H. Heller, A. Bánkfalvi, H. Griefingholt, R. Bollmann

OBJECTIVE: To determine whether it is possible to stratify patients with superficial bladder cancer into low- and high-risk groups for tumour recurrence/progression based on the chromosomal pattern detected by fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) in one urine cytology specimen used for follow-up testing. PATIENTS AND METHODS: Voided urine samples from 47 consecutive patients with urinary tract neoplasms (13 with no history of urothelial malignancy and 34 under follow-up after complete transurethral resection of superficial urothelial carcinoma of the bladder) were evaluated by liquid-based cytology (ThinPrep(R), CYTYC Corp., Boxborough, MA, USA) and UroVysion FISH (Vysis-Abbott, Downers Grove, IL). RESULTS: Of the 34 patients under surveillance, the UroVysion test was negative in four, 17 had loss of 9p21 sequences either alone or combined with low-frequency trisomy/ies or tetrasomy/ies of chromosomes 3, 7 and 17 in single cells (low-risk FISH), and 13 also had complex aneusomies of the remaining chromosomes (high-risk FISH). One of the four FISH-negative neoplasms, four of the 17 low-risk FISH cases and five of the 11 informative high-risk FISH-positive patients developed recurrence. Progression occurred only in patients with high-risk FISH results, showing high-frequency complex chromosomal polysomies (four of 11). CONCLUSION: The results from this pilot study indicate that the UroVysion FISH test may help to individually assess the clinical behaviour of superficial bladder cancer, based on the chromosomal pattern of exfoliated tumour cells in follow-up urinary cytology. It might be of use to identify those patients likely to progress at earlier and curable stages of disease, and lengthen the surveillance period in those with persistent or recurrent low-risk disease.

Nucleic Acids Research, 33, 2512- 2520

XRCC1 is required for DNA single-strand break repair in human cells.

R. Brem, J. Hall

The X-ray repair cross complementing 1 (XRCC1) protein is required for viability and efficient repair of DNA single-strand breaks (SSBs) in rodents. XRCC1-deficient mouse or hamster cells are hypersensitive to DNA damaging agents generating SSBs and display genetic instability after such DNA damage. The presence of certain polymorphisms in the human XRCC1 gene has been associated with altered cancer risk, but the role of XRCC1 in SSB repair (SSBR) in human cells is poorly defined. To elucidate this role, we used RNA interference to modulate XRCC1 protein levels in human cell lines. A reduction in XRCC1 protein levels resulted in decreased SSBR capacity as measured by the comet assay and intracellular NAD(P)H levels, hypersensitivity to the cell killing effects of the DNA damaging agents methyl methanesulfonate (MMS), hydrogen peroxide and ionizing radiation and enhanced formation of micronuclei following exposure to MMS. Lowered XRCC1 protein levels were also associated with a significant delay in S-phase progression after exposure to MMS. These data clearly demonstrate that XRCC1 is required for efficient SSBR and genomic stability in human cells.

Fetal Diagnosis and Therapy, 20, 106- 112

Fetal cells in maternal blood: a comparison of methods for cell isolation and identification.

B. Christensen, J. Philip, S. K\olvraa, L. Lykke-Hansen, I. Hromadnikova, D. Gohel, T. Lörch, A. Plesch, J. Bang, S. Smidt-Jensen, J. Hertz, H. Djursing

OBJECTIVE: A variety of methods have been used to select and identify fetal cells from maternal blood. In this study, a commonly used 3-step selection method is compared with selection directly from whole blood. Identification of fetal origin by XY FISH of male cells was also evaluated. METHODS: Maternal blood was drawn either before invasive chorion villus sampling (pre-CVS) or after (post-CVS) from women carrying a male fetus. Fetal cells were isolated either by density gradient centrifugation succeeded by CD45/CD14 depletion and CD71-positive selection from CD45/CD14-negative cells, or by CD71-positive selection directly from whole blood. The true origin of fetal cells recovered by the two methods was established by two rounds of XY chromosome FISH in reverse colors, in some instances combined with anti-zeta (zeta) or anti-zeta/anti-gamma (gamma) antibody staining. RESULTS: In blood samples taken post-CVS and enriched by CD71 selection directly from whole blood, fetal cells were identified with a frequency that was almost four orders of magnitude higher than in post-CVS samples enriched by the 3-step method. In blood samples taken pre-CVS and enriched by the 3-step procedure, no fetal cells were identified by reverse color FISH in 371 ml of blood. In similar samples enriched by CD71 selection on whole blood, two fetal cells were identified in 27 ml of blood. Rehybridization with X and Y chromosome probes with reverse colors was necessary to exclude false Y chromosome signals. Not all fetal cells identified by the presence of a true Y chromosome signal stained with anti-zeta antibody. CONCLUSIONS: Selection of fetal NRBCs from maternal blood by CD71-positive selection directly from whole blood is superior to density gradient centrifugation succeeded by CD45/CD14 depletion and CD71 selection of CD45/CD14-negative cells. Combining two markers for fetal origin is recommended for unambiguously identifying a cell as fetal.

Genes Chromosomes Cancer, 44, 1- 9

Complex chromosome aberrations persist in individuals many years after occupational exposure to densely ionizing radiation: an mFISH study

M Prakash Hande, TV Azizova, LF Burak, VF Khokhryakov, CR Geard, DJ Brenner

Long-lived, sensitive, and specific biomarkers of particular mutagenic agents are much sought after and potentially have broad applications in the fields of cancer biology, epidemiology, and prevention. Many clastogens induce a spectrum of chromosome aberrations, and some of them can be exploited as biomarkers of exposure. Densely ionizing radiation, for example, alpha particle radiation (from radon or plutonium) and neutron radiation, preferentially induces complex chromosome aberrations, which can be detected by the 24-color multifluor fluorescence in situ hybridization (mFISH) technique. We report the detection and quantification of stable complex chromosome aberrations in lymphocytes of healthy former nuclear-weapons workers, who were exposed many years ago to plutonium, gamma rays, or both, at the Mayak weapons complex in Russia. We analyzed peripheral-blood lymphocytes from these individuals for the presence of persistent complex chromosome aberrations. A significantly elevated frequency of complex chromosome translocations was detected in the highly exposed plutonium workers but not in the group exposed only to high doses of gamma radiation. No such differences were found for simple chromosomal aberrations. The results suggest that stable complex chromosomal translocations represent a long-lived, quantitative, low-background biomarker of densely ionizing radiation for human populations exposed many years ago.

Advances in Space Research, 35, 276- 279

Chromosomal intrachanges induced by swift iron ions

M. Horstmann, M. Durante, C. Johannes, G. Obe

<p>Genomic fingerprints of mutagenic agents would have wide applications in the field of cancer biology, epidemiology and prevention. The differential spectra of chromosomal aberrations induced by different clastogens suggest that ratios of specific aberrations can be exploited as biomarkers of carcinogen exposure. We have tested this hypothesis using the novel technique of multicolor banding in situ hybridization (mBAND) in human peripheral blood lymphocytes exposed in vitro to X rays, neutrons, heavy ions, or the restriction endonuclease AluI. In the heavy-ion-irradiated cells, we further analyzed aberrations in chromosome 5 using multicolor FISH (mFISH). Contrary to the expectations of biophysical models, our results do not support the use of the ratios of inter-/intrachromosomal exchanges or intra-/interarm intrachanges as fingerprints of exposure to densely ionizing radiation. However, our data point to measurable differences in the ratio of complex/simple interchanges after exposure to different clastogens. These data should be considered in current biophysical models of radiation action in living cells.</p>

J Appl Genet, 46, 319- 325

Genotoxicity of the volatile anaesthetic desflurane in human lymphocytes in vitro, established by comet assay.

T.M. Karpinski, M. Kostrzewska-P., I. Stachecki, A. Mikstacki, K. Szyfter

The aim of the present study was to estimate the genotoxicity of desflurane, applied as a volatile anaesthetic. The potential genotoxicity was determined by the comet assay as the extent of DNA fragmentation in human peripheral blood lymphocytes in vitro. The comet assay detects DNA strand breaks induced directly by genotoxic agents as well as DNA fragmentation due to cell death. Another anaesthetic, halothane, already proved to be a genotoxic agent, was used as a positive control. Both analysed drugs were capable of increasing DNA migration in a dose-dependent manner under experimental conditions applied. The results of the study demonstrated that the genotoxicity of desflurane was comparable with that of halothane. However, considering the pharmacodynamics of both drugs, the genotoxic activity of desflurane may be connected with a less harmful effect on the exposed patients or medical staff.