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Open AccessCommunication

Digital Immune Gene Expression Profiling Discriminates Allergic Rhinitis Responders from Non-Responders to Probiotic Supplementation

1
School of Medical Science, Griffith University, Queensland, 4215, Australia
2
Menzies Health Institute Queensland, Griffith University, Queensland, 4215, Australia
3
School of Medicine, Griffith University, Queensland, 4215, Australia
4
Queensland Allergy Services, Queensland, 4215, Australia
5
Winclove Probiotics B.V., Amsterdam, 1032 LB, The Netherlands
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Genes 2019, 10(11), 889; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes10110889
Received: 23 September 2019 / Revised: 28 October 2019 / Accepted: 30 October 2019 / Published: 4 November 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Current Advances in Network Biology for Disease Understanding)
Probiotic supplementation for eight weeks with a multi-strain probiotic by individuals with allergic rhinitis (AR) reduced overall symptom severity, the frequency of medication use and improved quality of life. The purported mechanism of action is modulation of the immune system. This analysis examined changes in systemic and mucosal immune gene expression in a subgroup of individuals, classified as either responders or non-responders based on improvement of AR symptoms in response to the probiotic supplement. Based on established criteria of a beneficial change in the mini-rhinoconjunctivitis quality of life questionnaire (mRQLQ), individuals with AR were classified as either responders or non-responders. Systemic and mucosal immune gene expression was assessed using nCounter PanCancer Immune Profiling (Nanostring Technologies, Seattle, WA, USA) kit on blood samples and a nasal lysate. There were 414 immune genes in the blood and 312 immune genes in the mucosal samples expressed above the background threshold. Unsupervised hierarchical clustering of immune genes separated responders from non-responders in blood and mucosal samples at baseline and after supplementation, with key T-cell immune genes differentially expressed between the groups. Striking differences in biological processes and pathways were evident in nasal mucosa but not blood in responders compared to non-responders. These findings support the use of network approaches to understand probiotic-induced changes to the immune system.
Keywords: nanostring; allergic rhinitis; probiotics; responders; non-responders; immunoinformatics; mucosal immunology nanostring; allergic rhinitis; probiotics; responders; non-responders; immunoinformatics; mucosal immunology
MDPI and ACS Style

West, N.P.; Watts, A.M.; Smith, P.K.; Zhang, P.; Besseling-van der Vaart, I.; Cripps, A.W.; Cox, A.J. Digital Immune Gene Expression Profiling Discriminates Allergic Rhinitis Responders from Non-Responders to Probiotic Supplementation. Genes 2019, 10, 889.

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