Comparative Analysis of Transcriptional Responses in Monocytes from Human Neonates, Adults, and Older Adults
Human neonates and older adults frequently exhibit a reduced capacity to control microbial infections. A variety of mechanisms involving both the innate and adaptive immune systems have been proposed to contribute to these deficiencies. The emergence of RNA sequencing (RNA-seq) as an accurate and quantitative method for examining mRNA levels provides an opportunity to compare transcriptional responses to a stimulus at a global scale in neonates, adults, and older adults. An examination of ex vivo monocyte responses to lipopolysaccharide stimulation or Listeria monocytogenes infection (with cord blood monocytes representing neonatal monocytes) revealed extensive similarities between all three age groups, with only a small number of genes exhibiting statistically significant differences. Using transcription factor motif analyses and RNA-seq data sets from a variety of mouse mutants, the most significant neonatal deficiencies corresponded to genes that require interferon response factor-3 or type 1 interferon signaling for their activation. In older adults, the most striking difference was broad, low-level activation of inflammatory genes prior to stimulation, consistent with prior evidence of a chronic inflammatory state in older adults. These results demonstrate the value of quantitative RNA-seq analyses and the feasibility of cross-species comparisons between well-defined mouse networks and human data sets. Overall design: RNA-seq of primary cells from three independent donors in three different age-groups across 3 time-points stimulated with either LPS or Listeria monocytogenes.
External Link: /pubmed:26147648