Analysis of immune cell gene activity may predict patient's response to treatment - by Marisa Wexler, MS
Analyzing the global genetic activity of immune cells called monocytes can identify distinct groups among people with systemic scleroderma, a new study indicates.
This type of analysis “may represent a viable mechanism for identifying patients and potentially their response to therapeutics,” its researchers wrote.
The study, “Three Distinct Transcriptional Profiles of Monocytes Associate with Disease Activity in Scleroderma Patients,” was published in Arthritis & Rheumatology.
Activity seen in genes linked to inflammation, fibrosis Scleroderma is caused by the immune system attacking healthy tissue. Exactly how the immune system becomes dysregulated, however, remains incompletely characterized.
Scientists in the U.S. conducted an analysis aiming to characterize monocytes in scleroderma patients. Monocytes are a class of immune cell involved in the early response to infection.
Analyzed blood samples were from 14 people with diffuse systemic scleroderma (SSc), and 15 volunteers without scleroderma who were similar in terms of age, sex, and race as a control group. The data were collected as part of a study called the Prospective Registry of Early Systemic Sclerosis consortium or PRESS (STU00062447), which aims to better understand the biological underpinnings of scleroderma.
After isolating monocytes from the samples, the researchers performed transcriptomic analyses. Put simply, this type of analysis looks at how active is each of the genes in a cell, which can provide important clues about the cell’s activity.
Overall, results showed... continue reading here
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