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Transcriptomic profiles in Parkinson’s disease

Kurvits, L., Lättekivi, F., Reimann, E., Kadastik-Eerme, L., Kasterpalu, K.M., Kõks, S., Taba, P. and Planken, A. (2021) Transcriptomic profiles in Parkinson’s disease. Experimental Biology and Medicine, 246 (5). pp. 584-595.

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Transcriptomics in Parkinson’s disease offers insights into the pathogenesis of Parkinson’s disease but obtaining brain tissue has limitations. In order to bypass this issue, we profile and compare differentially expressed genes and enriched pathways (KEGG) in two peripheral tissues (blood and skin) of 12 Parkinson’s disease patients and 12 healthy controls using RNA-sequencing technique and validation with RT-qPCR. Furthermore, we compare our results to previous Parkinson’s disease post mortem brain tissue and blood results using the robust rank aggregation method. The results show no overlapping differentially expressed genes or enriched pathways in blood vs. skin in our sample sets (25 vs. 1068 differentially expressed genes with an FDR ≤ 0.05; 1 vs. 9 pathways in blood and skin, respectively). A meta-analysis from previous transcriptomic sample sets using either microarrays or RNA-Seq yields a robust rank aggregation list of cortical gene expression changes with 43 differentially expressed genes; a list of substantia nigra changes with 2 differentially expressed genes and a list of blood changes with 1 differentially expressed gene being statistically significant at FDR ≤ 0.05. In cortex 1, KEGG pathway was enriched, four in substantia nigra and two in blood. None of the differentially expressed genes or pathways overlap between these tissues. When comparing our previously published skin transcription analysis, two differentially expressed genes between the cortex robust rank aggregation and skin overlap. In this study, for the first time a meta-analysis is applied on transcriptomic sample sets in Parkinson’s disease. Simultaneously, it explores the notion that Parkinson’s disease is not just a neuronal tissue disease by exploring peripheral tissues. The comparison of different Parkinson’s disease tissues yields surprisingly few significant differentially expressed genes and pathways, suggesting that divergent gene expression profiles in distinct cell lineages, metabolic and possibly iatrogenic effects create too much transcriptomic noise for detecting significant signal. On the other hand, there are signs that point towards Parkinson’s disease-specific changes in non-neuronal peripheral tissues in Parkinson’s disease, indicating that Parkinson’s disease might be a multisystem disorder.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Centre for Comparative Genomics
Publisher: SAGE Publications
Copyright: © 2020 by The Society for Experimental Biology and Medicine
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