Simultaneous paired analysis of numerical chromosomal aberrations and DNA content in osteosarcoma

M. Serra, M. Tarkkanen, N. Baldini, K. Scotlandi, M. Sarti, D. Maurici, M. C. Manara, S. Benini, P. Bacchini, S. Knuutila, P. Picci

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Relatively little is known about the biologic relevance of numerical chromosomal changes in relation to DNA content in osteosarcoma. In this study, by using a series of human osteosarcoma cell lines, we standardized a method for the assessment, on the same nuclei specimen, of both specific chromosome copy numbers by fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) and the DNA content by static cytofluorometry or image cytometry. On the same cell lines, we also evaluated the DNA content by using flow cytometry and the chromosome number distribution by metaphase analysis. Comparison between these different methods showed that DNA ploidy level as determined by FISH or metaphase analysis is frequently lower than the ploidy pattern as defined by cytometric methods. By using comparative genomic hybridization, we were able to demonstrate that these discrepancies were due to the presence of several unbalanced chromosome aberrations, specifically gains and high-level amplifications, which affect the total DNA content with less effect on the total chromosome number. Thus, evaluation of DNA ploidy in osteosarcoma cells is needed for a correct interpretation of FISH or cytogenetic data concerning numerical chromosomal changes. Evaluation of tumor ploidy in a series of clinical samples demonstrated that in high-grade osteosarcoma, flow cytometry sometimes may give false results because of the presence of high proportions of contaminating, nonneoplastic cells that cannot be excluded from the flow cytometric assessment but that do not interfere with the evaluation of DNA ploidy by static cytofluorometry or image cytometry, in which only rumor cells are selected for the analysis. The possibility of using this method to evaluate, on the same nuclei sample, both specific chromosomal aberrations and DNA ploidy may allow a better determination of numerical chromosomal changes that may be relevant for the biologic behavior of osteosarcoma.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)710-716
Number of pages7
JournalModern Pathology
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2001


  • CGH
  • Cytometry
  • FISH
  • Osteosarcoma
  • Ploidy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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