Volume 39, Issue 5 (September 1994)

    Flow Cytometry: A Screening Tool for High Molecular Weight DNA

    (Received 13 January 1994; accepted 14 March 1994)

    CODEN: JFSOAD

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    Abstract

    Decomposition is the degradation of tissues due to a combination of autolysis and putrefaction. As the postmortem interval lengthens, chromatin is degraded until no high molecular weight DNA (HMW-DNA) remains. The DNA complement per cell can be measured by flow cytometry; the integrity of the DNA within a tissue can be determined using gel electrophoresis. In this study, splenic tissue was harvested at autopsy and was allowed to decompose over several days. Serial samples were taken and submitted for gel electrophoresis and flow cytometric analysis. Gel electrophoresis showed HMW-DNA was present at postmortem days one through three but little remained by day four. Flow cytometry closely reproduced the same results with peaks near the 2n control indicating the presence of HMW-DNA. This implies that flow cytometry may substitute for gel electrophoresis as a quick, inexpensive assay for the presence of HMW-DNA.


    Author Information:

    Gittinger, CK
    Residents in Pathology and Laboratory Medicine; Medical Technologist 1; Associate Professor, Director of Molecular Pathology; and Assistant Professor and Director, Division of Diagnostic Immunology, Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, the Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC

    Re, GG
    Residents in Pathology and Laboratory Medicine; Medical Technologist 1; Associate Professor, Director of Molecular Pathology; and Assistant Professor and Director, Division of Diagnostic Immunology, Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, the Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC

    Gelven, PL
    Residents in Pathology and Laboratory Medicine; Medical Technologist 1; Associate Professor, Director of Molecular Pathology; and Assistant Professor and Director, Division of Diagnostic Immunology, Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, the Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC

    Self, SE
    Residents in Pathology and Laboratory Medicine; Medical Technologist 1; Associate Professor, Director of Molecular Pathology; and Assistant Professor and Director, Division of Diagnostic Immunology, Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, the Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC

    Cina, SJ
    Residents in Pathology and Laboratory Medicine; Medical Technologist 1; Associate Professor, Director of Molecular Pathology; and Assistant Professor and Director, Division of Diagnostic Immunology, Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, the Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC


    Stock #: JFS13701J

    ISSN: 0022-1198

    DOI: 10.1520/JFS13701J

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    Author
    Title Flow Cytometry: A Screening Tool for High Molecular Weight DNA
    Symposium , 0000-00-00
    Committee E30