Monocyte Gene-Expression Profiles Associated With Childhood-Onset Type 1 Diabetes and Disease Risk: A Study of Identical Twins

H Beyan, Roosmarijn Drexhage, LV Nieuwenhuijsen, Harm Wit, Roos Padmos, NC Schloot, Hemmo Drexhage, RD Leslie

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OBJECTIVE-Monocytes in childhood-onset type 1 diabetes show distinct gene expression. We hypothesize that monocyte activation in monozygotic (MZ) twin pairs discordant for childhood-onset type 1 diabetes could reflect distinct stages of the disease process including diabetes susceptibility (differences between twins, both diabetic and nondiabetic, and control subjects) and/or disease progression (differences between diabetic and nondiabetic twins). RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS-We studied patterns of inflammatory gene expression in peripheral blood monocytes of MZ twin pairs (n = 10 pairs) discordant for childhood-onset type 1 diabetes, normal control twin pairs (n = 10 pairs), and healthy control subjects (n = 51) using quantitative-PCR (Q-PCR). We tested the 24 genes previously observed by whole genome analyses and verified by Q-PCR in autoimmune diabetes and performed a hierarchical cluster analysis. RESULTS-Of 24 genes abnormally expressed in childhood-onset type 1 diabetes, we revalidated abnormal expression in 16 of them in diabetic twins including distinct sets of downregulated (P < 0.03) and upregulated (P < 0.02) genes. Of these 16 genes, 13 were abnormally expressed in nondiabetic twins, implicating these genes in diabetes susceptibility (P < 0.044 for all). Cluster analysis of monocyte gene-expression in nondiabetic twins identified two distinct, mutually exclusive clusters, while diabetic twins had a network of positively correlated genes. CONCLUSIONS-Patients with childhood-onset type 1 diabetes show abnormal monocyte gene-expression levels with an altered gene-expression network due to gene-environment interaction. Importantly, perturbed gene-expression clusters were also detected in nondiabetic twins, implicating monocyte abnormalities in susceptibility to diabetes. Diabetes 59:1751-1755, 2010
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)1751-1755
Number of pages5
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2010

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  • EMC MM-02-72-02

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