It has been highlighted that RNA quality and appropriate reference gene selection is crucial for the interpretation of RT-qPCR results in human placental samples. In this context we investigated the effect of RNA degradation on the mRNA abundance of seven frequently used reference genes in 119 human placental samples. Combining RNA integrity measurements, RT-qPCR analysis and mathematical modeling we found major differences regarding the effect of RNA degradation on the measured expression levels between the different reference genes. Furthermore, we demonstrated that a modified RNA extraction method significantly improved RNA quality and consequently increased transcript levels of all reference genes.
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