Wuolikainen A, Hedenstrom M, Moritz T, Marklund SL, Antti H, Andersen PM
Optimization of procedures for collecting and storing of CSF for studying the metabolome in ALS
Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis: 2009 10:229-236

There is a need for biomarkers for early diagnosis, development and evaluation of treatment efficacy in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). We aimed to investigate if pre-analytical factors induce artefacts in metabolomic data of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) from patients with ALS. CSF from 16 patients was studied using a statistical experimental design protocol with the following parameters: storage temperature (-80°C/ - 20°C), type of collection tube (polypropylene/polystyrene), and time delay from collecting to freezing (0, 10, 30, 90, 150 min). Gas chromatography-mass spectrometry was used to analyse CSF from 12 of the patients while CSF from one patient was analysed with nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. The extent of CO2 evaporization from CSF collected in tubes of different sizes at different temperatures and with/without lid were studied in three addtional patients. We found that alterations in storage temperature affect the metabolite composition of CSF more than any other studied pre-analytical parameter. CO2 evaporization may induce artefacts in the metabolome by increasing the pH. In conclusion, minimization of evaluated artefacts can be obtained by collecting the CSF directly into tubes with tightly sealed lids in N2(l) and after freezing transfer of the tubes to -80°C to minimize evaporation of CO2.

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