Specific genetic analysis of microscopic tissue after selective ultraviolet radiation fractionation and the polymerase chain reaction

Am J Pathol. 1992 Sep;141(3):539-43.


A method using selective ultraviolet radiation fractionation followed by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) can analyze specific cell subsets present on a microscope section. Direct ultraviolet radiation of fixed and stained tissue sections prevents subsequent amplification by PCR. An "umbrella" or dot placed physically over small numbers of pure cell populations selected by microscopic examination protects these cells from the ultraviolet inactivation. The DNA in these protected cells can be specifically amplified while no signal is derived from the unprotected surrounding cells. Specific amplification was demonstrated by detecting human papillomavirus sequences only if infected cells were protected. Similarly, loss of heterozygosity at the p53 locus was documented by selective dotting of normal or tumor cells. The method allows the specific and sensitive molecular genetic analysis of small numbers of cells histologically identified and selected under the microscope.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Base Sequence
  • DNA / analysis*
  • Heterozygote
  • Humans
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Oligonucleotide Probes / genetics
  • Papillomaviridae
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction*
  • Tumor Virus Infections / genetics
  • Ultraviolet Rays*
  • Urinary Bladder Neoplasms / genetics


  • Oligonucleotide Probes
  • DNA