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Mult Scler J Exp Transl Clin. 2019 Jun 13;5(2):2055217319856903. doi: 10.1177/2055217319856903. eCollection 2019 Apr-Jun.

No differential gene expression for CD4+ T cells of MS patients and healthy controls.

Author information

1
Institute of Clinical Medicine, University of Oslo, Norway.
2
Department of Neurology, Oslo University Hospital, Norway.
3
Computational Biology Graduate Group, University of California, USA.
4
Genetic Epidemiology and Genomics Laboratory, University of California, USA.
5
Institute of Mechanical, Electronics and Chemical Engineering, OsloMet - Oslo Metropolitan University, Norway.

Abstract

Background:

Multiple sclerosis-associated genetic variants indicate that the adaptive immune system plays an important role in the risk of developing multiple sclerosis. It is currently not well understood how these multiple sclerosis-associated genetic variants contribute to multiple sclerosis risk. CD4+ T cells are suggested to be involved in multiple sclerosis disease processes.

Objective:

We aim to identify CD4+ T cell differential gene expression between multiple sclerosis patients and healthy controls in order to understand better the role of these cells in multiple sclerosis.

Methods:

We applied RNA sequencing on CD4+ T cells from multiple sclerosis patients and healthy controls.

Results:

We did not identify significantly differentially expressed genes in CD4+ T cells from multiple sclerosis patients. Furthermore, pathway analyses did not identify enrichment for specific pathways in multiple sclerosis. When we investigated genes near multiple sclerosis-associated genetic variants, we did not observe significant enrichment of differentially expressed genes.

Conclusion:

We conclude that CD4+ T cells from multiple sclerosis patients do not show significant differential gene expression. Therefore, gene expression studies of all circulating CD4+ T cells may not result in viable biomarkers. Gene expression studies of more specific subsets of CD4+ T cells remain justified to understand better which CD4+ T cell subsets contribute to multiple sclerosis pathology.

KEYWORDS:

CD4+ T cells; Genetics; RNA sequencing; gene expression; multiple sclerosis

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