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Clin Exp Immunol. 2018 Apr;192(1):33-45. doi: 10.1111/cei.13083. Epub 2017 Dec 11.

RNA-sequencing study of peripheral blood mononuclear cells in sporadic Ménière's disease patients: possible contribution of immunologic dysfunction to the development of this disorder.

Sun Y1,2, Zhang D1,2, Sun G2, Lv Y1, Li Y1, Li X1, Song Y1,2, Li J2, Fan Z1,2, Wang H1,2.

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Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Shandong Provincial Hospital Affiliated to Shandong University, Jinan, China.
Shandong Provincial Key Laboratory of Otology, Shandong Provincial Hospital Affiliated to Shandong University, Jinan, China.


To date, the pathogenesis of Ménière's disease (MD) remains unclear. This study aims to investigate the possible relationship between potential immune system-related genes and sporadic MD. The whole RNA-sequencing (RNA-seq) technology was used to analyse the transcriptome of peripheral blood mononuclear cells of three MD patients and three control individuals. Of 366 differentially expressed genes (DEGs), 154 genes were up-regulated and 212 genes were down-regulated (|log2 fold change| > 1 and P < 0·05). Gene ontology (GO) enrichment analysis illustrated that immune relevant factors played a key role in the pathogenesis of MD. Of 366 DEGs, we focused upon analysing the possible immune-related genes, among which the significantly up-regulated genes [glutathione S-transferase mu 1 (GSTM1), transmembrane protein 176 (TMEM176)B, TMEM176A] and down-regulated genes [solute carrier family 4 member (SLC4A)10 and SLC4A1] especially drew our attention. The mRNA expression levels of GSTM1, TMEM176B, TMEM176A, SLC4A1 and SLC4A10 were analysed by quantitative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR). The serum concentration of GSTM1, TMEM176B and SLC4A10 proteins were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Considering the results of qRT-PCR and ELISA, it was noteworthy that GSTM1 exhibited the highest fold change between two groups, which was consistent with the deep sequencing results by RNA-seq. In conclusion, our study first offers a new perspective in MD development on the basis of RNA expression patterns, suggesting that immune factors might be involved in the MD pathogenesis. Remarkably, GSTM1 might be a possible candidate gene for the diagnostic biomarker of MD and provides the basis for further biological and functional investigations.


Ménière's disease; RNA sequencing; immune system; transcriptome

[Available on 2019-04-01]

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