The use of needle biopsy for assessment of placental gene expression

Yoel Sadovsky, Solange M. Wyatt, Lynne Collins, Uriel Elchalal, Fredrick T. Kraus, D. Michael Nelson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Objective: The purpose of this study was to test the hypothesis that placental samples that are obtained by needle aspiration ex vivo are useful for the determination of villus gene expression. Study design: Placental biopsy was performed with a spinal needle after uncomplicated deliveries. Villi were inspected microscopically, and RNA was extracted and analyzed with capillary electrophoresis. Gene expression was determined with quantitative polymerase chain reaction. Results: We obtained more placental villous fragments per aspiration using a 20-gauge needle (5.2 ± 1.8 fragments) than with a 22-gauge needle (3.3 ± 1.6 fragments; P < .01). RNA quality was adequate, based on the 28S and 18S recombinant RNA bands, with a mean 260/280 ratio of 1.88. The amount of extracted RNA correlated with the number of villous fragments per aspirate. Importantly, the expression of NDRG1 and hPL, both markedly altered in hypoxia, was consistent between villi that were obtained by either needle or standard biopsy. Conclusion: Placental samples that are obtained by ex vivo needle aspiration are useful for the extraction of RNA and for the determination of villous gene expression.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1137-1142
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican journal of obstetrics and gynecology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2006


  • Needle aspiration
  • Placenta
  • Quantitative polymerase chain reaction
  • RNA
  • Villus


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