Whole blood RNA sequencing reveals a unique transcriptomic profile in patients with ARDS following hematopoietic stem cell transplantation

Joshua A. Englert, Michael H. Cho, Andrew E. Lamb, Maya Shumyatcher, Diana Barragan-Bradford, Maria C. Basil, Angelica Higuera, Colleen Isabelle, Mayra Pinilla Vera, Paul B. Dieffenbach, Laura E. Fredenburgh, Joyce B. Kang, Ami S. Bhatt, Joseph H. Antin, Vincent T. Ho, Robert J. Soiffer, Judie A. Howrylak, Blanca E. Himes, Rebecca M. Baron

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Background: The acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) is characterized by the acute onset of hypoxemia and bilateral lung infiltrates in response to an inciting event, and is associated with high morbidity and mortality. Patients undergoing allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) are at increased risk for ARDS. We hypothesized that HSCT patients with ARDS would have a unique transcriptomic profile identifiable in peripheral blood compared to those that did not undergo HSCT. Methods: We isolated RNA from banked peripheral blood samples from a biorepository of critically ill ICU patients. RNA-Seq was performed on 11 patients with ARDS (5 that had undergone HSCT and 6 that had not) and 12 patients with sepsis without ARDS (5 that that had undergone HCST and 7 that had not). Results: We identified 687 differentially expressed genes between ARDS and ARDS-HSCT (adjusted p-value < 0.01), including IFI44L, OAS3, LY6E, and SPATS2L that had increased expression in ARDS vs. ARDS-HSCT; these genes were not differentially expressed in sepsis vs sepsis-HSCT. Gene ontology enrichment analysis revealed that many differentially expressed genes were related to response to type I interferon. Conclusions: Our findings reveal significant differences in whole blood transcriptomic profiles of patients with non-HSCT ARDS compared to ARDS-HSCT patients and point toward different immune responses underlying ARDS and ARDS-HSCT that contribute to lung injury.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number15
JournalRespiratory research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 21 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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