The relationship between extreme inter-individual variation in macrophage gene expression and genetic susceptibility to inflammatory bowel disease

Claire L O'Brien, Kim M Summers, Natalia M Martin, Dylan Carter-Cusack, Yuanhao Yang, Rasel Barua, Ojas V A Dixit, David A Hume, Paul Pavli

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Abstract

The differentiation of resident intestinal macrophages from blood monocytes depends upon signals from the macrophage colony-stimulating factor receptor (CSF1R). Analysis of genome-wide association studies (GWAS) indicates that dysregulation of macrophage differentiation and response to microorganisms contributes to susceptibility to chronic inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Here, we analyzed transcriptomic variation in monocyte-derived macrophages (MDM) from affected and unaffected sib pairs/trios from 22 IBD families and 6 healthy controls. Transcriptional network analysis of the data revealed no overall or inter-sib distinction between affected and unaffected individuals in basal gene expression or the temporal response to lipopolysaccharide (LPS). However, the basal or LPS-inducible expression of individual genes varied independently by as much as 100-fold between subjects. Extreme independent variation in the expression of pairs of HLA-associated transcripts (HLA-B/C, HLA-A/F and HLA-DRB1/DRB5) in macrophages was associated with HLA genotype. Correlation analysis indicated the downstream impacts of variation in the immediate early response to LPS. For example, variation in early expression of IL1B was significantly associated with local SNV genotype and with subsequent peak expression of target genes including IL23A, CXCL1, CXCL3, CXCL8 and NLRP3. Similarly, variation in early IFNB1 expression was correlated with subsequent expression of IFN target genes. Our results support the view that gene-specific dysregulation in macrophage adaptation to the intestinal milieu is associated with genetic susceptibility to IBD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-29
JournalHuman Genetics
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 29 Feb 2024

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