T-cell transcriptomics from peripheral blood highlights differences between polymyositis and dermatomyositis patients.
BACKGROUND: Polymyositis (PM) and dermatomyositis (DM) are two distinct subgroups of idiopathic inflammatory myopathies, a chronic inflammatory disorder clinically characterized by muscle weakness and inflammatory cell infiltrates in muscle tissue. In PM, a major component of inflammatory cell infiltrates is CD8+ T cells, whereas in DM, CD4+ T cells, plasmacytoid dendritic cells, and B cells predominate. In this study, with the aim to differentiate involvement of CD4+ and CD8+ T-cell subpopulations in myositis subgroups, we investigated transcriptomic profiles of T cells from peripheral blood of patients with myositis. METHODS: Total RNA was extracted from CD4+ T cells (PM = 8 and DM = 7) and CD8+ T cells (PM = 4 and DM = 5) that were isolated from peripheral blood mononuclear cells via positive selection using microbeads. Sequencing libraries were generated using the Illumina TruSeq Stranded Total RNA Kit and sequenced on an Illumina HiSeq 2500 platform, yielding about 50 million paired-end reads per sample. Differential gene expression analyses were conducted using DESeq2. RESULTS: In CD4+ T cells, only two genes, ANKRD55 and S100B, were expressed significantly higher in patients with PM than in patients with DM (false discovery rate [FDR] < 0.05, model adjusted for age, sex, HLA-DRB1*03 status, and RNA integrity number [RIN]). On the contrary, in CD8+ T cells, 176 genes were differentially expressed in patients with PM compared with patients with DM. Of these, 44 genes were expressed significantly higher in CD8+ T cells from patients with PM, and 132 genes were expressed significantly higher in CD8+ T cells from patients with DM (FDR < 0.05, model adjusted for age, sex, and RIN). Gene Ontology analysis showed that genes differentially expressed in CD8+ T cells are involved in lymphocyte migration and regulation of T-cell differentiation. CONCLUSIONS: Our data strongly suggest that CD8+ T cells represent a major divergence between PM and DM patients compared with CD4+ T cells. These alterations in the gene expression in T cells from PM and DM patients might advocate for distinct immune mechanisms in these subphenotypes of myositis.
Houtman, M; Ekholm, L; Hesselberg, E; Chemin, K; Malmström, V; Reed, AM; Lundberg, IE; Padyukov, L
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