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The global transcriptomic signature in sinonasal tissues reveals roles for tissue type and chronic rhinosinusitis disease phenotype

Volume: 58 - Issue: 3

Firstpage: 273 - Lastpage: 283

A. Bassiouni - J. Ou - A. Schreiber - J. Geoghegan - A. Tsykin - A.J. Psaltis - P.-J. Wormald - S. Vreugde

BACKGROUND: RNA sequencing (RNA-Seq) allows the characterization of a global transcriptomic signature in a least-biased fashion, but few studies have applied this method to investigate the pathophysiology of CRS.
METHODS: We collected mucosal tissue samples from 6 CRS without nasal polyps (CRSsNP), 6 CRS with nasal polyps (CRSwNP), and 6 control patients. Additional matched polyp samples were collected from the 6 CRSwNP patients. RNA was extracted and sequenced on the Illumina HiSeq-2500. Differential gene expression and pathway analyses were performed.
RESULTS: CRSsNP showed evidence of upregulated interferon-mediated immunity, MHC-class-I mediated antigen presentation, CXCR3 binding, neutrophil chemotaxis and degranulation, and potential downregulation of genes related to cilia movement and production. CRSwNP polyp tissue showed upregulation of B-cell mediated immune responses, but reduced expression of genes related to epithelial morphogenesis and haemostasis. Polyps also showed a generalized reduction of positive gene regulation. The sinonasal transcriptomic signature was largely determined by tissue type (polyp versus mucosa) and disease phenotype, with minimal signal originating from the individual patient.
CONCLUSION: RNA-Seq is a useful tool to explore the complex pathophysiology of CRS. Our findings stress the importance of tissue selection in molecular research utilizing sinonasal tissue, and demonstrate the limitation of the sNP/wNP paradigm (and the importance of endotyping). On the other hand, classical CRSsNP/wNP disease phenotypes played some role in determining the global transcriptomic signature, and should not be hastily discarded. The value of RNA-Seq-described transcriptomic signatures in exploring endotypes is yet to be explored in future studies.

A. Bassiouni - J. Ou - A. Schreiber - J. Geoghegan - A. Tsykin - A.J. Psaltis - P.-J. Wormald - S. Vreugde - The global transcriptomic signature in sinonasal tissues reveals roles for tissue type and chronic rhinosinusitis disease phenotype
Rhinology 58-3: 273-283, 2020