Conjunctival Transcriptome in Scarring Trachoma!

Matthew J. Burton, Saul N. Rajak, Julien Bauer, Helen A. Weiss, Sonda B. Tolbert, Alice Shoo, Esmail Habtamu, Alphaxard Manjurano, Paul M. Emerson, David C. W. Mabey, Martin J. Holland and Robin L. Bailey. Infection and Immunity, Jan. 2011, p. 499–511
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Trachoma is a poorly understood immunofibrogenic disease process, initiated by Chlamydia trachomatis. Differences in conjunctival gene expression profiles between Ethiopians with trachomatous trichiasis (with [TTI] or without [TT] inflammation) and controls (C) were investigated to identify relevant host responses. Tarsal conjunctival swab samples were collected for RNA isolation and C. trachomatis PCR. Transcriptomewide microarray experiments were conducted on 42 samples (TTI, n ! 13; TT, n ! 15; C, n !14). Specific results were confirmed by using multiplex quantitative reverse transcription-PCR for 16 mRNA targets in an independent collection of case-control samples: 386 case-control pairs (TTI, n! 244; TT, n ! 142; C, n ! 386). The gene expression profiles of cases were consistent with squamous metaplasia (keratins, SPRR), proinflammatory cytokine production (IL1", CXCL5, and S100A7), and tissue remodeling (MMP7, MMP9, MMP12, and HAS3). There was no difference in the level of IFN# between cases and controls. However, cases had increased INDO, NOS2A, and IL13RA2 and reduced IL13. C. trachomatis was detected in 1/772. Cases show evidence of ongoing inflammation and tissue remodeling, which were more marked where clinical inflammation was also present