The effects of storage temperatures, repeated freeze-thaw cycles, or delays in separating plasma or serum from blood samples are largely unknown for heat shock protein 27 (HSP27). We evaluated (1) the imprecision of the HSP27 assay used in this study; (2) the in vitro stability of HSP27 in blood samples stored at 4°C for up to 6 hr with immediate and delayed serum/plasma separation from cells; and (3) the in vitro stability of HSP27 in blood samples stored at -80°C after repeated freeze-thaw cycles. The ELISA to detect HSP27 in this study showed a within-run CV of <9% and a total CV of <15%. After 4-6 hr of storage at 4°C, HSP27 concentrations remained stable when using serum tubes irrespective of sample handling, but HSP27 concentrations decreased by 25-45% when using EDTA plasma tubes. Compared with baseline HSP27, one freeze-thaw cycle had no effect on serum concentrations. However, plasma concentrations increased by 3.1-fold after one freeze-thaw cycle and by 7.3-fold after five freeze-thaw cycles. In conclusion, serum is an appropriate biological sample type for use in epidemiological and large-scale clinical studies.
Keywords: Heat shock proteins; In vitro stability; Storage conditions.