The effects of storage temperature and duration of blood samples on DNA and RNA qualities

Lien Hung Huang, Pei Hsien Lin, Kuo Wang Tsai, Liang Jen Wang, Ying Hsien Huang, Ho Chang Kuo*, Sung Chou Li

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Article peer-review

84 Scopus citations


DNA and RNA samples from blood are the common examination target for non-invasive physical tests and/or biomedical studies. Since high-quality DNA and RNA samples guarantee the correctness of these tests and/or studies, we investigated the effects of storage temperature and storage duration of whole blood on DNA and RNA qualities. Subjects were enrolled to donate blood samples which were stored for different durations and at different temperatures, followed by the examinations on RNA quality, qPCR, DNA quality and DNA methylation. For RNA, we observed obvious quality decline with storage duration longer than 24 hours. Storage at low temperature does not keep RNA samples from degradation. And, storing whole blood samples in freezer dramatically damage RNA. For DNA, quality decline was not observed even with storage duration for 15 days. However, DNA methylation significantly altered with storage duration longer than three days. Storage duration within 24 hours is critical for collecting high-quality RNA samples for next-generation sequencing (NGS) assays (RIN≧8). If microarray assays are expected (RIN≧7), storage duration within 32 hours is acceptable. Although DNA is resistant within 15 days when kept in whole blood, DNA quantity dramatically decreases owing to WBC lysis. In addition, duration for more than three days significantly alter DNA methylation status, globally and locally. Our result provides a reference for dealing with blood samples.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0184692
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number9
StatePublished - 09 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Huang et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


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