Journal Article

Transcriptomic Profile Indicative of Immunotoxic Exposure: <i>In Vitro</i> Studies in Peripheral Blood Mononuclear Cells

Kevin Hochstenbach, Danitsja M. van Leeuwen, Hans Gmuender, Solvor B. Stølevik, Unni C. Nygaard, Martinus Løvik, Berit Granum, Ellen Namork, Joost H. M. van Delft and Henk van Loveren

in Toxicological Sciences

Volume 118, issue 1, pages 19-30
Published in print November 2010 | ISSN: 1096-6080
Published online August 2010 | e-ISSN: 1096-0929 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/toxsci/kfq239
Transcriptomic Profile Indicative of Immunotoxic Exposure: In Vitro Studies in Peripheral Blood Mononuclear Cells

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Investigating the immunotoxic effects of exposure to chemicals usually comprises evaluation of weight and histopathology of lymphoid tissues, various lymphocyte parameters in the circulation, and immune function. Immunotoxicity assessment is time consuming in humans or requires a high number of animals, making it expensive. Furthermore, reducing the use of animals in research is an important ethical and political issue. Immunotoxicogenomics represents a novel approach to investigate immunotoxicity able of overcoming these limitations. The current research, embedded in the European Union project NewGeneris, aimed to retrieve gene expression profiles that are indicative of exposure to immunotoxicants. To this end, whole-genome gene expression was investigated in human peripheral blood mononuclear cells in response to in vitro exposure to a range of immunotoxic chemicals (4-hydroxy-2-nonenal, aflatoxin B1, benzo[a]pyrene, deoxynivalenol, ethanol, malondialdehyde, polychlorinated biphenyl 153, and 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin) and nonimmunotoxic chemicals (acrylamide, dimethylnitrosamine, 2-amino-3-methyl-3H-imidazo[4,5-F]quinoline, and 2-amino-1-methyl-6-phenylimidazo[4,5-b]pyridine). Using Agilent oligonucleotide microarrays, whole-genome gene expression profiles were generated, which were analyzed using Genedata's Expressionist software. Using Recursive Feature Elimination and Support Vector Machine, a set of 48 genes was identified that distinguishes the immunotoxic from the nonimmunotoxic compounds. Analysis for enrichment of biological processes showed the gene set to be highly biologically and immunologically relevant. We conclude that we have identified a promising transcriptomic profile indicative of immunotoxic exposure.

Keywords: transcriptomics; immunotoxicity; human; peripheral blood mononuclear cells

Journal Article.  5872 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Medical Toxicology ; Toxicology (Non-medical)

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