RATIONALE - Microarray technology is widely employed for studying the molecular mechanisms underlying complex diseases. However, analyses of individual diseases or models of diseases frequently yield extensive lists of differentially expressed genes with uncertain relationships to disease pathogenesis.
OBJECTIVES - To compare gene expression changes in a heterogeneous set of lung disease models in order to identify common gene expression changes seen in diverse forms of lung pathology, as well as relatively small subsets of genes likely to be involved in specific pathophysiological processes.
METHODS - We profiled lung gene expression in 12 mouse models of infection, allergy, and lung injury. A linear model was used to estimate transcript expression changes for each model, and hierarchical clustering was used to compare expression patterns between models. Selected expression changes were verified by quantitative polymerase chain reaction.
MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS - A total of 24 transcripts, including many involved in inflammation and immune activation, were differentially expressed in a substantial majority (9 or more) of the models. Expression patterns distinguished three groups of models: (1) bacterial infection (n = 5), with changes in 89 transcripts, including many related to nuclear factor-kappaB signaling, cytokines, chemokines, and their receptors; (2) bleomycin-induced diseases (n = 2), with changes in 53 transcripts, including many related to matrix remodeling and Wnt signaling; and (3) T helper cell type 2 (allergic) inflammation (n = 5), with changes in 26 transcripts, including many encoding epithelial secreted molecules, ion channels, and transporters.
CONCLUSIONS - This multimodel dataset highlights novel genes likely involved in various pathophysiological processes and will be a valuable resource for the investigation of molecular mechanisms underlying lung disease pathogenesis.