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Mediators of Inflammation
Volume 2005, Issue 6, Pages 317-330

Microarray Profiling of Lymphocytes in Internal Diseases With an Altered Immune Response: Potential and Methodology

Departments of Psychiatry, Molecular Pharmacology, and Allergology, University Medical Center of Groningen, Hanzeplein 1, PO Box 30001, Groningen 9700 RB, The Netherlands

Received 25 April 2005; Accepted 1 August 2005

Copyright © 2005 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. 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.


Recently it has become possible to investigate expression of all human genes with microarray technique. The authors provide arguments to consider peripheral white blood cells and in particular lymphocytes as a model for the investigation of pathophysiology of asthma, RA, and SLE diseases in which inflammation is a major component. Lymphocytes are an alternative to tissue biopsies that are most often difficult to collect systematically. Lymphocytes express more than 75% of the human genome, and, being an important part of the immune system, they play a central role in the pathogenesis of asthma, RA, and SLE. Here we review alterations of gene expression in lymphocytes and methodological aspects of the microarray technique in these diseases. Lymphocytic genes may become activated because of a general nonspecific versus disease-specific mechanism. The authors suppose that in these diseases microarray profiles of gene expression in lymphocytes can be disease specific, rather than inflammation specific. Some potentials and pitfalls of the array technologies are discussed. Optimal clinical designs aimed to identify disease-specific genes are proposed. Lymphocytes can be explored for research, diagnostic, and possible treatment purposes in these diseases, but their precise value should be clarified in future investigation.