DNA arrays capable of simultaneously measuring expression of thousands of genes in clinical specimens from affected and normal individuals have the potential to provide information about disease pathogenesis not previously possible. Few studies have applied mRNA profiling to diseases involving complex tissues like the intestinal mucosa, reflecting the unique challenges inherent to this type of analysis. We report the analysis of mucosal gene expression in ulcerative colitis (UC) patients and inflamed and noninflamed control specimens. Genes can be used as markers for cell recruitment, activation, and mucosal synthesis of immunoregulatory molecules. Self-organizing maps were applied to cluster and analyze gene expression patterns and were paired with histopathological scores to identify genes associated with increased disease activity. Clustering was achieved on the basis of differences in expression levels across individual specimens. Several inflammatory mediators were identified as likely determinants of characteristic histological features of active UC. These results provide proof of principle for application of functional genomics to larger inflammatory bowel disease populations for gene discovery, to facilitate identification of disease subgroups on the basis of gene expression signatures, and for prediction of disease behavior or optimal therapeutic intervention.
|Number of pages||11|
|State||Published - Nov 9 2000|