Gene expression profiling of lymphoblastoid cell lines from monozygotic twins discordant in severity of autism reveals differential regulation of neurologically relevant genes
ABSTRACT The autism spectrum encompasses a set of complex multigenic developmental disorders that severely impact the development of language, non-verbal communication, and social skills, and are associated with odd, stereotyped, repetitive behavior and restricted interests. To date, diagnosis of these neurologically based disorders relies predominantly upon behavioral observations often prompted by delayed speech or aberrant behavior, and there are no known genes that can serve as definitive biomarkers for the disorders.
Here we demonstrate, for the first time, that lymphoblastoid cell lines from monozygotic twins discordant with respect to severity of autism and/or language impairment exhibit differential gene expression patterns on DNA microarrays. Furthermore, we show that genes important to the development, structure, and/or function of the nervous system are among the most differentially expressed genes, and that many of these genes map closely in silico to chromosomal regions containing previously reported autism candidate genes or quantitative trait loci.
Our results provide evidence that novel candidate genes for autism may be differentially expressed in lymphoid cell lines from individuals with autism spectrum disorders. This finding further suggests the possibility of developing a molecular screen for autism based on expressed biomarkers in peripheral blood lymphocytes, an easily accessible tissue. In addition, gene networks are identified that may play a role in the pathophysiology of autism.
Full-textDOI: · Available from: John Quackenbush, Apr 08, 2014
SourceAvailable from: PubMed Central[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: The effects of interferon-beta (IFN-β), one of the key immunotherapies used in multiple sclerosis (MS), on peripheral blood leukocytes and T cells have been extensively studied. B cells are a less abundant leukocyte type, and accordingly less is known about the B cell-specific response to IFN-β. To identify gene expression changes and pathways induced by IFN-β in B cells, we studied the in vitro response of human Epstein Barr-transformed B cells (lymphoblast cell lines-LCLs), and validated our results in primary B cells. LCLs were derived from an MS patient repository. Whole genome expression analysis identified 115 genes that were more than two-fold differentially up-regulated following IFN-β exposure, with over 50 previously unrecognized as IFN-β response genes. Pathways analysis demonstrated that IFN-β affected LCLs in a similar manner to other cell types by activating known IFN-β canonical pathways. Additionally, IFN-β increased the expression of innate immune response genes, while down-regulating many B cell receptor pathway genes and genes involved in adaptive immune responses. Novel response genes identified herein, NEXN, DDX60L, IGFBP4, and HAPLN3, B cell receptor pathway genes, CD79B and SYK, and lymphocyte activation genes, LAG3 and IL27RA, were validated as IFN-β response genes in primary B cells. In this study new IFN-β response genes were identified in B cells, with possible implications to B cell-specific functions. The study's results emphasize the applicability of LCLs for studies of human B cell drug response. The usage of LCLs from patient-based repositories may facilitate future studies of drug response in MS and other immune-mediated disorders with a B cell component.PLoS ONE 07/2014; 9(7):e102331. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0102331 · 3.53 Impact Factor
[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Recent studies of genomic variation associated with autism have suggested the existence of extreme heterogeneity. Large-scale transcriptomics should complement these results to identify core molecular pathways underlying autism. Here we report results from a large-scale RNA sequencing effort, utilizing region-matched autism and control brains to identify neuronal and microglial genes robustly dysregulated in autism cortical brain. Remarkably, we note that a gene expression module corresponding to M2-activation states in microglia is negatively correlated with a differentially expressed neuronal module, implicating dysregulated microglial responses in concert with altered neuronal activity-dependent genes in autism brains. These observations provide pathways and candidate genes that highlight the interplay between innate immunity and neuronal activity in the aetiology of autism.Nature Communications 12/2014; 5:5748. DOI:10.1038/ncomms6748 · 10.74 Impact Factor