Isolating intact RNA from pancreas can be difficult because of high levels of nucleases expressed in this tissue. In a study about circadian expression of clock genes, scientists used RNAlater to collect rat pancreata at three hour intervals for eventual quantitative RT-PCR analyses. These experiments provide growing evidence of circadian pacemakers in islets and begin to examine the role of dysrhythmic insulin secretion at the onset of diabetes mellitus. To learn more, see FEBS Lett (2004) 564: 91-96.
RNAlater can be used to protect RNA in blood samples for any research or diagnostic test. One research group has shown that this may be critical for maintaining gene expression patterns in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs). When PBMCs were resuspended in RNAlater within 30 minutes of collection, major changes in gene expression profiles related to ex vivo stress response pathways or to RNA degradation were reduced. To learn more, see Genes Immun (2004) 5: 347-353.
Environmental Bacteria--Netherlands Antilles
To study differential gene expression in bacterial communities associated with coral black band disease (BBD), scuba-diving scientists collected active BBD mat samples from infected coral surfaces and BBD mat samples that had been moved 0.3 to 1 m from the reef. Upon removal from the ocean, their samples were stabilized in RNAlater for eventual RNA-arbitrarily primed PCR (RAP-PCR) and RT-PCR analyses. These experiments are providing important clues to the global problem of BBD migration as well as the infection and destruction of coral reefs by BBD. To learn more, see Appl Environ Microbiol (2004) 70: 3687-94.
Environmental Virus-- Laos People's Democratic Republic
To find ways of improving diagnostic testing of classical swine fever (hog cholera), researchers simulated collection and transport conditions in tropical ambient temperatures for virus-positive spleen samples in RNAlater or a glycerol/saline buffer. In both widely used diagnostic tests (RT-PCR and antigen-capture ELISA), viral detection was more sensitive in samples preserved with RNAlater. To learn more, see J Virol Methods (2004) 118: 33-7.