Long-term storage at -20°C compromises fatty acid composition of polar bear adipose biopsies
This study aimed to gain insight into the influence of storage time and temperature on fatty acid (FA) signatures of biopsies of marine mammal adipose/blubber tissues. To examine storage effects, biopsy-type slices from larger pieces of adipose tissues from 2 polar bears Ursus maritimus were stored at either -20 or -80°C and subsequently analyzed for fatty acid composition initially (before storage), after 4 yr, and after 9 yr. At -20°C, after both 4 and 9 yr, proportions of polyunsaturated FAs significantly decreased, and proportions of monounsaturated FAs increased. Proportions of saturated FAs significantly increased only after 9 yr at -20°C in samples of 1 individual. After 4 and 9 yr of storage at -80°C, proportions of the 3 FA classes did not significantly change overall. Intra-individual differences in FA proportions increased over time in -20°C conditions, further pointing to biases stemming from inadequate storage conditions. These findings support the need to store biopsied fatty tissues (or other similarly thin and/or small adipose/blubber samples) at or below -80°C to adequately preserve FA signatures in samples over time for retrospective applications such as dietary studies.
|Long-term storage at -20°C compromises fatty acid composition of polar bear adipose biopsies
|Marine Ecology Progress Series
|Alaska Science Center Ecosystems
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