Inserm, Institut national de la santé et de la recherche médicale
Faculté de pharmacie, Aix Marseille Université

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A&R special issue : Disease mechanisms in rheumatology. Tools and pathways

Chiche L, Jourde-Chiche N, Pascual V, Chaussabel D. Arthritis Rheum. 2013 Feb 28. doi : 10.1002/art.37909. Impact factor 7.8

Abstract

Systems approaches are integrative approaches that rely on high-throughput techniques to capture the state of a system on a global scale. Systems immunology leverages these technologies to investigate complex immunological processes. During the last decade, rheumatologists have evaluated the utility of systems approaches, in particular transcriptomics (the determination of the expression level of mRNAs in a given cell population, also referred to as expression profiling), especially in the setting of autoimmune rheumatic diseases resulting from the complex combination of environmental, epigenetic and genetic factors. First, this systems approach allows a global and “hypothesis-free” assessment of genes and complex biological networks or pathways implicated in specific conditions. Directly applied to patients, it has for instance revealed an IFN signature in SLE, where classic genetic and in vitro “focused” approaches or in vivo animal studies had either failed or proved poorly translational. Second, transcriptomic can be used to guide or complement other biological approaches, including proteomic or genomic studies. Finally, it can provide the basis to translational clinical applications. Indeed, in comparison to real-time PCR that measures gene expression of only a limited number of transcripts, whole transcriptome profiling has clearly become the method of choice for biomarker discovery in various fields including Rheumatology.

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/art.37909/pdf