This study was performed to investigate the effect of storing blood samples by freezing on selected biomarkers and possible implications for biomonitoring. Comparative measurements were performed in order to investigate the use of cryopreserved vs. freshly separated peripheral mononuclear blood cells (PMBC) obtained from donor blood. Measurements of DNA-repair, mutant frequency, and subcell content were included. Samples for large biomonitoring studies are usually taken from study groups within a short time period of days/weeks and storing of study material for later analysis can be necessary. We measured the DNA repair activity as dimethylsulfate induced unscheduled DNA synthesis (UDS) in PMBC incubated with either autologous plasma or fetal bovine serum (FBS). Comparison of the hprt mutant frequency by the T cell cloning assay was made in parallel. Finally the content of B/T-lymphocytes and monocytes was measured in phytohemaglutinin (PHA)-stimulated cultures at different time intervals. The results showed a higher DNA repair activity in cryopreserved samples compared with fresh samples. We also found differences in mutant frequencies with higher values in fresh samples. A significant correlation of frequencies was seen when comparing fresh with cryopreserved samples. Furthermore we recommend fresh human plasma used in UDS incubation media.
Keywords: Biological Markers; Blood Cells; Blood Preservation; Clone Cells; Cryopreservation; Culture Media; DNA Repair; Humans; Hypoxanthine Phosphoribosyltransferase; Lectins; Leukocytes, Mononuclear; Mutagenicity Tests; Mutagens; Sulfuric Acid Esters; T-Lymphocytes; Time Factors