Tissue microarrays (TMAs) are a highly efficient method for large-scale protein expression studies. To date most TMAs have been constructed using paraffin-embedded specimens. The authors developed a method that allows construction of TMAs from small numbers of cells in suspension. Spun pellets of 1x10 to 1x10 cells are directly processed and embedded in paraffin in an Eppendorf tube. Cylindrical cores of 0.6 mm are taken from these tubes and embedded in a recipient paraffin block to create a TMA. This relatively simple but versatile method enables very small numbers of cells in suspension to be analyzed using the TMA technology and allows for the study of hematolymphoid and related disorders of the blood and bone marrow for which solid tissue samples cannot be readily obtained. With the increasing trend toward obtaining small samples for screening and diagnostic purposes, this method provides a means to manipulate small volume samples for high-throughput immunohistochemical analysis. This method is also amenable for use for cultured cells.
"At CPCTR we use them for controls as one of the cores within tissue-based TMAs. One can also use cells before and after specific treatments, transfected cells, or simply as control TMA cores because these cell lines have been extensively used in the literature and much is known about their immunohistochemical profile (Moskaluk and Stoler 2003; Li et al. 2005; Montgomery et al. 2005). "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This is a review of several new approaches developed at or adopted by the Cooperative Prostate Cancer Tissue Resource (CPCTR) to resolve issues involved in tissue microarray (TMA) construction and use. CPCTR developed the first needle biopsy TMA, allowing researchers to obtain 200 or more consecutive cancer sections from a single biopsy core. Using radiographs of original paraffin blocks to measure tissue thickness we developed a method to produce TMAs with a larger number of usable sections. The modular approach to plan TMA construction is also a novel concept wherein TMAs of different types, such as tumor grade TMAs, metastasis TMA and hormone refractory tumors TMA can be combined to form an ensemble of TMAs with expanded research utility, such as support for tumor progression studies. We also implemented an open access TMA Data Exchange Specification that allows TMA data to be organized in a self-describing XML document annotated with well-defined common data elements. It ensures inter-laboratory reproducibility because it offers information describing the preparation of TMA blocks and slides. There are many important aspects that may be missed by both beginners and experienced investigators in areas of TMA experimental design, human subjects protection, population sample size, selection of tumor areas to sample, strategies for saving tissues, choice of antibodies for immunohistochemistry, and TMA data management.
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