Study suggests prenatal origin for ‘young’ Parkinson’s disease
With this modified technique, up to 3,000 cells per well can be encapsulated in each droplet and simultaneously analyzed. The original sc-ddPCR system simultaneously assesses single-cell genetic information with high sensitivity and specificity. However, the original system is only useful for cell suspensions with a clear background (i.e., washed cell lines or clearly sorted cells with fluorescence-activated cell sorting). Researchers modified this sc-ddPCR system to improve the PCR environment in each droplet with higher sensitivity and specificity, which makes it possible to now assess single-cell genetic information from crudely purified nucleated cell samples with impurities.
To confirm the sensitivity of this modified sc-ddPCR system, investigators detected the genomic DNA of circulating male fetal cells in a crudely sorted cell suspension at the single-cell level derived from peripheral blood samples from mothers with male fetuses.
Investigators searched for the presence of the sex-determining region Y gene (SRY), which is responsible for the initiation of male sex determination. Analysis of 13 blood samples indicated that only circulating fetal cells from the three pregnant women carrying male fetuses tested positive for the SRY gene, unlike cells from the 10 pregnant women carrying female fetuses. This indicates that the modified sc-ddPCR system not only has high sensitivity, but also high specificity.
"In the future, by optimizing cell sorting and encapsulation, as well as generating a more effective PCR environment in each droplet, this modified sc-ddPCR system may be a breakthrough analysis method that can be applied to various research realms and possibly to clinical diagnostic testing," commented Dr. Hata. Source:
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