Magnetic cell sorting and the transferrin receptor as potential means of prenatal diagnosis from maternal blood

      This paper is only available as a PDF. To read, Please Download here.
      OBJECTIVE: We wanted to test whether the recently described method of using the transferrin receptor system for fluorescence-activated cell-sorter enrichment of nucleated red blood cells can be used for prenatal diagnosis from maternal blood.
      STUDY DESIGN: Instead of the laborious, expensive fluorescence-activated cell-sorter system, we used the newly described magnetic-activated cell sorter.
      RESULTS: An effective enrichment could be achieved with separation of lymphocyte subsets. With the transferrin receptor, however, the enrichment was very inefficient because of the poor specificity of the antibody itself. Even in umbilical cord blood only 25% of nucleated red blood cells were labeled as demonstrated by immunogold silver enhancement of transferrin receptor-labeled cells.
      CONCLUSION: In spite of the availability of a fast and effective separation method (magnetic-activated cell sorter) the use of the transferrin receptor antigen alone is not likely to enable a reliable identification of fetal cells in maternal circulation.

      Key words

      To read this article in full you will need to make a payment

      Purchase one-time access:

      Academic & Personal: 24 hour online accessCorporate R&D Professionals: 24 hour online access
      One-time access price info
      • For academic or personal research use, select 'Academic and Personal'
      • For corporate R&D use, select 'Corporate R&D Professionals'


      Subscribe to American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology
      Already a print subscriber? Claim online access
      Already an online subscriber? Sign in
      Institutional Access: Sign in to ScienceDirect


      1. Is it a boy?.
        Lancet. 1990; 2 (Editorial): 87-88
        • Chueh J
        • Golbus MS
        Prenatal diagnosis using fetal cells in the maternal circulation.
        Semin Perinatol. 1990; 14: 471-482
        • Gänshirt-Ahlert D
        • Pohlschmidt M
        • Gal A
        • et al.
        Ratio of fetal to maternal DNA is less than 1 in 5000 at different gestational ages in maternal blood.
        Clin Genet. 1990; 38: 38-43
        • Lo YMD
        • Wainscoat JS
        • Gillmer MDG
        • et al.
        Prenatal diagnosis using fetal cells in the maternal circulation.
        Lancet. 1989; 1: 1363-1365
        • Holzgreve W
        • Gänshirt-Ahlert D
        • Burschyk M
        • et al.
        Detection of fetal DNA in maternal blood by PCR.
        Lancet. 1990; 1: 1220-1221
        • Yeoh SC
        • Sargent IL
        • Redman CWG
        • Thein SL
        Detection of fetal cells in maternal blood.
        Lancet. 1989; 1: 869-870
        • Bianchi DW
        • Flint AF
        • Pizzimenti MF
        • et al.
        Isolation of fetal DNA from nucleated erythrocytes in maternal blood.
        Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1990; 87: 3279-3283
        • Mueller VW
        • Hawes C
        • Wright AE
        • et al.
        Isolation of fetal trophoblast cells from peripheral blood of pregnant women.
        Lancet. 1990; 2: 197-198
        • Milteneyi S
        • Müller W
        • Weichel W
        • Radbruch A
        High gradient magnetic cell separation with MACS.
        Cytometry. 1990; 11: 231-238
        • Newman R
        • Schneider C
        • Sutherland R
        • et al.
        The transferrin receptor.
        Trends Biochem Sci. 1982; 1: 397-399
        • Covone AE
        • Kozma R
        • Johnson PM
        • Latt SA
        • Adinolfi M
        Trophoblast cells in peripheral blood from pregnant women.
        Prenat Diagn. 1988; 8: 591-607