Effect of formalin-fixation and paraffin-embedded tissue storage times on RNAscope in situ hybridization signal amplification

Megan E. Colburn, Martha A. Delaney, Gretchen C. Anchor, Karen A. Terio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

RNAscope in situ hybridization (ISH) detects target RNA in formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded (FFPE) tissues. Protocols suggest that prolonged FFPE storage and formalin fixation may impact signal detection, potentially limiting the utility of RNAscope ISH in retrospective studies. To develop parameters for RNAscope use with archived specimens, we evaluated the effect of formalin-fixation time by measuring the signal of a reference gene (16srRNA) in selected tissues fixed in 10% neutral-buffered formalin for 1, 2, 3, 5, 7, 10, 14, 21, 28, 60, 90, 180, and 270 d. The signal intensity and percent area of signal decreased after 180 d. Tissues had detectable signal at 180 d but not at 270 d of formalin fixation. To assess target detection in paraffin blocks, we qualitatively compared the signal of canine distemper virus (CDV) antigen via immunohistochemistry and CDV RNA via RNAscope ISH in replicate sections from blocks stored at room temperature for 6 mo, 1, 3, 6, 8, 11, 13, and 15 y; RNA was detected in FFPE tissues stored for up to 15 y. Our results demonstrate that RNAscope ISH can detect targets in tissues with prolonged paraffin storage intervals and formalin-fixation times.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Veterinary Diagnostic Investigation
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2024

Keywords

  • RNAscope
  • archival tissue
  • in situ hybridization
  • retrospective
  • viral detection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Veterinary

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