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posted on 01.07.2021, 05:36 by Zhuohang Liu, Hang Li, Shuyi Pan
Background

As the most common neurodegenerative disease, Alzheimer’s disease (AD) leads to progressive loss of cognition and memory. Presently, the underlying pathogenic genes of AD patients remain elusive, and effective disease-modifying therapy is not available. This study explored novel biomarkers that can affect diagnosis and treatment in AD based on immune infiltration.

Methods

The gene expression profiles of 139 AD cases and 134 normal controls were obtained from the NCBI GEO public database. We applied the computational method CIBERSORT to bulk gene expression profiles of AD to quantify 22 subsets of immune cells. Besides, based on the use of the Least Absolute Shrinkage Selection Operator (LASSO), this study also applied SVM-RFE analysis to screen key genes. GO-based semantic similarity and logistic regression model analyses were applied to explore hub genes further.

Results

There was a remarkable significance in the infiltration of immune cells between the subgroups. The proportions for monocytes, M0 macrophages, and dendritic cells in the AD group were significantly higher than those in the normal group, while the proportion of some cells was lower than that of the normal group, such as NK cell resting, T-cell CD4 naive, T-cell CD4 memory activation, and eosinophils. Additionally, seven genes (ABCA2, CREBRF, CD72, CETN2, KCNG1, NDUFA2, and RPL36AL) were identified as hub genes. Then we performed the analysis of immune factor correlation, gene set enrichment analysis (GSEA), and GO based on seven hub genes. The AUC of ROC prediction model in test and validation sets were 0.845 and 0.839, respectively. Eventually, the mRNA expression analysis of ABCA2, NDUFA2, CREBRF, and CD72 revealed significant differences among the seven hub genes and then was confirmed by RT-PCR.

Conclusion

A model based on immune cell infiltration might be used to forecast AD patients’ diagnosis, and it provided a new perspective for AD treatment targets.

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