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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2012, Article ID 203043, 17 pages
Research Article

Network-Based Gene Expression Biomarkers for Cold and Heat Patterns of Rheumatoid Arthritis in Traditional Chinese Medicine

1Institute of Basic Research in Clinical Medicine, China Academy of Chinese Medical Science, No. 16, Nanxiaojie, Dongzhimennei, Beijing 100700, China
2Institute of Clinical Medicine, China-Japan Hospital, Beijing 100029, China
3School of Life Science, Hubei University, Wuhan, Hubei 430062, China
4National Research Center of TCM, Jiangxi University of Chinese Medicine, Nanchang, Jiangxi 330006, China
5E-Institute of Shanhai Municipal Education Commission, Shanghai TCM University, Shanghai 201203, China

Received 27 August 2011; Revised 2 November 2011; Accepted 9 December 2011

Academic Editor: Lixing Lao

Copyright © 2012 Cheng Lu et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) can be classified into two main patterns: cold-pattern and heat-pattern. This paper identified the network-based gene expression biomarkers for both cold- and heat-patterns of RA. Gene expression profilings of CD4+ T cells from cold-pattern RA patients, heat-pattern RA patients, and healthy volunteers were obtained using microarray. The differentially expressed genes and related networks were explored using DAVID, GeneSpring software, and the protein-protein interactions (PPI) method. EIF4A2, CCNT1, and IL7R, which were related to the up-regulation of cell proliferation and the Jak-STAT cascade, were significant gene biomarkers of the TCM cold pattern of RA. PRKAA1, HSPA8, and LSM6, which were related to fatty acid metabolism and the I-κB kinase/NF-κB cascade, were significant biomarkers of the TCM heat-pattern of RA. The network-based gene expression biomarkers for the TCM cold- and heat-patterns may be helpful for the further stratification of RA patients when deciding on interventions or clinical trials.