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FASEB J. 2001 Nov;15(13):2545-7. Epub 2001 Sep 17.

Disease fingerprinting with cDNA microarrays reveals distinct gene expression profiles in lethal type 1 and type 2 cytokine-mediated inflammatory reactions.

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  • 1Immunobiology Section, Laboratory of Parasitic Diseases, National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland 20892, USA.


Development of polarized immune responses controls resistance and susceptibility to many microorganisms. However, studies of several infectious, allergic, and autoimmune diseases have shown that chronic type-1 and type-2 cytokine responses can also cause significant morbidity and mortality if left unchecked. We used mouse cDNA microarrays to molecularly phenotype the gene expression patterns that characterize two disparate but equally lethal forms of liver pathology that develop in Schistosoma mansoni infected mice polarized for type-1 and type-2 cytokine responses. Hierarchical clustering analysis identified at least three groups of genes associated with a polarized type-2 response and two linked with an extreme type-1 cytokine phenotype. Predictions about liver fibrosis, apoptosis, and granulocyte recruitment and activation generated by the microarray studies were confirmed later by traditional biological assays. The data show that cDNA microarrays are useful not only for determining coordinated gene expression profiles but are also highly effective for molecularly "fingerprinting" diseased tissues. Moreover, they illustrate the potential of genome-wide approaches for generating comprehensive views on the molecular and biochemical mechanisms regulating infectious disease pathogenesis.

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