Effects of Cold Ischemia on Gene Expression: A Review and Commentary

Academic Article


  • Frequently investigators request that tissues be collected and processed in less than one hour following removal from a patient. Some biorepositories expend significant personnel time and other resources in trying to meet such goals; however, it is unclear whether the perceived benefits of relatively short cold ischemia times warrant these added costs. The literature of human surgical tissues prospectively exposed to cold ischemia at several time points was reviewed to compare the changes in transcripts/genes and microRNA with time of cold ischemia. Also, reports of protein changes in response to cold ischemia were correlated to changes in genes. The literature is limited; however, for most tissues, only a small proportion of transcripts/genes (<1%) changes up to 3 hours following surgery and most transcripts increase rather than decrease in less than 2 hours of cold ischemia. Biorepositories and investigators must consider the literature for evidence of significant changes in molecular results from tissues before spending significant resources on relatively rapid collection of tissues to meet cold ischemia times of less than 3 hours. Instead, those using human tissues in research must consider if the cold ischemia times affect their use in specific research; hence are these tissues "fit for purpose?"
  • Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Grizzle WE; Otali D; Sexton KC; Atherton DS
  • Start Page

  • 548
  • End Page

  • 558
  • Volume

  • 14
  • Issue

  • 6