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PLoS One. 2008 Jul 9;3(7):e2596. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0002596.

Identification of a common gene expression response in different lung inflammatory diseases in rodents and macaques.

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Laboratory for Health Protection Research (GBO), National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM), Bilthoven, The Netherlands.


To identify gene expression responses common to multiple pulmonary diseases we collected microarray data for acute lung inflammation models from 12 studies and used these in a meta-analysis. The data used include exposures to air pollutants; bacterial, viral, and parasitic infections; and allergic asthma models. Hierarchical clustering revealed a cluster of 383 up-regulated genes with a common response. This cluster contained five subsets, each characterized by more specific functions such as inflammatory response, interferon-induced genes, immune signaling, or cell proliferation. Of these subsets, the inflammatory response was common to all models, interferon-induced responses were more pronounced in bacterial and viral models, and a cell division response was more prominent in parasitic and allergic models. A common cluster containing 157 moderately down-regulated genes was associated with the effects of tissue damage. Responses to influenza in macaques were weaker than in mice, reflecting differences in the degree of lung inflammation and/or virus replication. The existence of a common cluster shows that in vivo lung inflammation in response to various pathogens or exposures proceeds through shared molecular mechanisms.

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