Johnsen IK, Hahner S, Briere JJ, Ozimek A, Gimenez-Roqueplo AP, Hantel C, Adam P, Bertherat J, Beuschlein F
Storage and tissue handling of surgical tumor specimen have been recognized as critical steps that can potentially affect reproducibility and comparability of molecular endpoints between laboratories. In the preparation of adrenal tumor tissue banking, three different protocols that simulate warm ischemia upon tumor removal (protocol I), thawing and refreezing cycles (protocol II), as well as storage of vital tumor samples (protocol III) were applied. For the first two protocols, samples were subdivided and either snap frozen or treated with a RNA preserving agent (RPA) while in protocol III different storage media were compared. Following these procedures, recovery and integrity of DNA, RNA, and protein by means of pulsed field electrophoresis, long-range PCR, real-time PCR, immunoblot, and immunohistochemistry (protocol I and II) as well as cell viability and steroidogenic capacity (protocol III) were investigated. While DNA integrity was not influenced by different treatment modalities, expression levels of adrenal marker genes were more affected in samples after snap freezing in comparison to RPA pretreatment. Moreover, storage at room temperature before and after freezing could be demonstrated to decrease the relative amount of protein phosphorylation (ERK) and enzymatic activity (succinate cytochrome c reductase) while overall protein levels were not significantly affected. Similarly, morphological or immunohistochemical evaluation was comparable between groups. For primary cell cultures generated after storage of tumor samples similar rates of viability were observable while steroid output varied between the groups. Overall, on the basis of the presented endpoints standardized operational procedures can be defined for a proposed European adrenal tumor biobank.