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Abstract: Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) is an effective treatment method used in many neoplastic and non-neoplastic diseases that affect the bone marrow, blood cells, and immune system.The procedure is associated with a risk of adverse events, mostly elated to the immune response after transplantation. The aim of our research was to identify genes, processes and cellular entities involved in the variety of changes occurring after allogeneic HSCT in children by performing a whole genome expression assessment together with pathway enrichment analysis. We conducted a prospective study of 27 patients (aged 1.5–18 years) qualified for allogenic HSCT. Blood samples were obtained before HSCT and 6 months after the procedure. Microarrays were used to analyze gene expressions in peripheral blood mononuclear cells. This was followed by Gene Ontology (GO) functional enrichment analysis, Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) pathway enrich- ment analysis, and protein–protein interaction (PPI) analysis using bioinformatic tools. We found 139 differentially expressed genes (DEGs) of which 91 were upregulated and 48 were downregulated. “Blood microparticle”, “extracellular exosome”, “B-cell receptor signaling pathway”, “complement activation” and “antigen binding” were among GO terms found to be significantly enriched. The PPI analysis identified 16 hub genes. Our results provide insight into a broad spectrum of epigenetic changes that occur after HSCT. In particular, they further highlight the importance of extracellular vesicles (exosomes and microparticles) in the post-HSCT immune response.


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