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Malaria-infected erythrocytes serve as biological standards to ensure reliable and consistent scoring of micronucleated erythrocytes by flow cytometry

Authors
Journal
Mutation Research/Genetic Toxicology and Environmental Mutagenesis
1383-5718
Publisher
Elsevier
Publication Date
Volume
464
Issue
2
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1016/s1383-5718(99)00183-7
Keywords
  • Micronuclei
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Genotoxicity
  • Malaria
  • Biological Standards
  • Automation
Disciplines
  • Biology
  • Design

Abstract

Abstract A procedure for optimizing the configuration of flow cytometers for enumerating micronucleated erythrocytes is described. The method is based on the use of a biological model for micronucleated erythrocytes, the malaria parasite Plasmodium berghei. P. berghei endows target cells of interest (erythrocytes) with a micronucleus-like DNA content. Unlike micronuclei, parasitized red blood cells have a homogenous DNA content, and can be very prevalent in circulation. These characteristics make malaria-infected erythrocytes extremely well suited for optimizing instrument setup on a daily basis. The experiment described herein was designed to test the hypothesis that malaria-infected erythrocytes can greatly enhance the consistency with which flow cytometers are configured for micronucleus analyses, and thereby minimize intra- and interexperimental variation. Data collected over the course of several months, on two different flow cytometers, supports the premise that malaria-infected blood represents a useful biological standard which helps ensure reliable and consistent flow cytometric enumeration of rare micronucleated erythrocytes.

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