UNIT 7.39 High-Resolution Cell Cycle and DNA Ploidy Analysis in Tissue Samples

  1. Christina Heinlein1,
  2. Daniel Speidel1,2

Published Online: 1 APR 2011

DOI: 10.1002/0471142956.cy0739s56

Current Protocols in Cytometry

Current Protocols in Cytometry

How to Cite

Heinlein, C. and Speidel, D. 2011. High-Resolution Cell Cycle and DNA Ploidy Analysis in Tissue Samples. Current Protocols in Cytometry. 56:7.39:7.39.1–7.39.11.

Author Information

  1. 1

    Children's Medical Research Institute, Westmead, New South Wales, Australia

  2. 2

    Sydney Medical School, The University of Sydney, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 1 APR 2011
  2. Published Print: APR 2011


This unit describes an easy, rapid, and universal procedure to process fresh and nitrogen-frozen tissue specimens for high-resolution cell cycle and DNA ploidy analysis. Unlike other protocols, this procedure does not require treating tissues with enzymes, detergents, or other plasma membrane–lysing chemicals, but it achieves tissue dispersion by a simple two-step mechanical process that can be performed in ∼5 min. Resulting single-cell suspensions are fixed with ethanol, stained with propidium iodide, and subjected to flow cytometric DNA content analysis. The method can be applied without any alterations to all tissue types (except bones) derived from several species and results in highly reproducible cell cycle profiles of excellent resolution. The described protocol can be used to reliably and accurately detect subtle cell cycle and ploidy alterations in tissue specimens, including cell cycle arrest, aneuploidy, and apoptosis/necrosis-associated DNA fragmentation. Curr. Protoc. Cytom. 56:7.39.1-7.39.11. © 2011 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc.


  • flow cytometry;
  • tissue;
  • DNA content;
  • cell cycle;
  • ploidy;
  • DNA fragmentation;
  • animal models