Stability and reproducibility of simultaneously detected plasma and serum cytokine levels in asymptomatic subjects

Biomarkers. 2010 Mar;15(2):140-8. doi: 10.3109/13547500903340570.


Blood levels of cyto- and chemokines might reflect immune deregulations which might be related to lymphomagenesis. Potential utility of stored blood samples of a prospective cohort was evaluated by the effect of different blood sample types and freeze-thaw cycles on analyte levels. Bead-based immunoassays were performed on two fresh samples (serum, citrate and heparin plasma) of 10 asymptomatic adults collected 14 days apart and on aliquots of the first samples which were put through one to three freeze-thaw cycles to measure 11 cytokines, four chemokines and two adhesion molecules. Median coefficients of variation (CVs) of the measured analytes were 20%, 24% and 32% in serum, citrate and heparin plasma, respectively. Strong correlations (rank correlation coefficient 0.74-0.98) were observed between sample types, although small differences in analyte levels were observed for most analytes. Freeze-thaw cycles did not markedly change analyte levels. Our study supports the use of this assay among asymptomatic subjects in epidemiological studies.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anticoagulants / pharmacology
  • Blood Specimen Collection / methods
  • Chemokines / blood
  • Citric Acid / pharmacology
  • Cryopreservation
  • Cytokines / blood*
  • Drug Stability
  • Freezing
  • Heparin / pharmacology
  • Humans
  • Plasma / chemistry
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Serum / chemistry
  • Specimen Handling / methods


  • Anticoagulants
  • Chemokines
  • Cytokines
  • Citric Acid
  • Heparin