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Genomic biomarkers in chronic beryllium disease and sarcoidosis

Published:April 05, 2021DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.rmed.2021.106390

      Highlights

      • Genomic biomarkers used as a diagnostic tool in sarcoidosis and CBD.
      • CD55, TNFα, and CXCL9 gene levels distinguish between sarcoidosis and CBD.
      • CD55 and TNFα gene levels distinguish between sarcoidosis and controls.

      Abstract

      Background Previous gene expression studies have identified genes IFNγ, TNFα, RNase 3, CXCL9, and CD55 as potential biomarkers for sarcoidosis and/or chronic beryllium disease (CBD). We hypothesized that differential expression of these genes could function as diagnostic biomarkers for sarcoidosis and CBD, and prognostic biomarkers for sarcoidosis. Study Design/Methods We performed RT-qPCR on whole blood samples from CBD (n = 132), beryllium sensitized (BeS) (n = 109), and sarcoidosis (n = 99) cases and non-diseased controls (n = 97) to determine differential expression of target genes. We then performed logistic regression modeling and generated ROC curves to determine which genes could most accurately differentiate: 1) CBD versus sarcoidosis 2) CBD versus BeS 3) sarcoidosis versus controls 4) non-progressive versus progressive sarcoidosis. Results CD55 and TNFα were significantly upregulated, while CXCL9 was significantly downregulated in CBD compared to sarcoidosis (p < 0.05). The ROC curve from the logistic regression model demonstrated high discriminatory ability of the combination of CD55, TNFα, and CXCL9 to distinguish between CBD and sarcoidosis with an AUC of 0.98. CD55 and TNFα were significantly downregulated in sarcoidosis compared to controls (p < 0.05). The ROC curve from the model showed a reasonable discriminatory ability of CD55 and TNFα to distinguish between sarcoidosis and controls with an AUC of 0.86. There was no combination of genes that could accurately differentiate between CBD and BeS or sarcoidosis phenotypes. Interpretation CD55, TNFα and CXCL9 expression levels can accurately differentiate between CBD and sarcoidosis, while CD55 and TNFα expression levels can accurately differentiate sarcoidosis and controls.

      Keywords

      Abbreviations:

      AUC (Area under the curve), BeLPT (Beryllium lymphocyte proliferation test), BeS (Beryllium sensitization), BAL (Bronchoalveolar lavage), CBD (Chronic beryllium disease), DLCO (Diffusing capacity for carbon monoxide), FEV1 (Forced expiratory volume in 1 s), FVC (Forced vital capacity), ROC (Receiver operating characteristic)
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