Background: The aim of this study is to determine whether and how the anticoagulant agents EDTA, sodium citrate, and heparin present in vacutainers and CPDA located in transfusion bags modify peripheral blood cell behavior.
Methods: We compared the effect of four anticoagulants within an expression study quantifying mRNA by realtime PCR in 60 blood samples.
Results: We observed a significant increase of TNFα and CCL2 mRNA expression in leukocytes placed in EDTA anticoagulant compared to leukocytes collected with citrate or heparin (p ≤ 0.5). Compared to blood cells influenced by one of the three anticoagulant agents present in vacuum tubes, cells from transfusion bags affected by CPDA displayed significantly lower levels of CCL2 and MYC mRNA, whereas levels of IL-10 and TNFα mRNA were much higher (p ≤ 0.5).
Conclusions: The anticoagulant EDTA significantly increases proinflammatory cytokine mRNA in freshly isolated PBMC. Anticoagulant CPDA significantly alters levels of some of the tested mRNAs in comparison to blood cells drawn into one of the three anticoagulant agents present in vacutainers.