Gene expression profiling identifies distinct molecular signatures in thrombotic and obstetric antiphospholipid syndrome

Vera M. Ripoll, Francesca Pregnolato, Simona Mazza, Caterina Bodio, Claudia Grossi, Thomas McDonnell, Charis Pericleous, Pier Luigi Meroni, David A. Isenberg, Anisur Rahman, Ian P. Giles

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Antiphospholipid antibodies (aPL) cause vascular thrombosis (VT) and/or pregnancy morbidity (PM). Differential mechanisms however, underlying the pathogenesis of these different manifestations of antiphospholipid syndrome (APS) are not fully understood. Therefore, we compared the effects of aPL from patients with thrombotic or obstetric APS on monocytes to identify different molecular pathways involved in the pathogenesis of APS subtypes. VT or PM IgG induced similar numbers of differentially expressed (DE) genes in monocytes. However, gene ontology (GO) analysis of DE genes revealed disease-specific genome signatures. Compared to PM, VT-IgG showed specific up regulation of genes associated with cell response to stress, regulation of MAPK signalling pathway and cell communication. In contrast, PM-IgG regulated genes involved in cell adhesion, extracellular matrix and embryonic and skeletal development. A novel gene expression analysis based on differential variability (DV) was also applied. This analysis identified similar GO categories compared to DE analysis but also uncovered novel pathways modulated solely by PM or VT-IgG. Gene expression analysis distinguished a differential effect of VT or PM-IgG upon monocytes supporting the hypothesis that they trigger distinctive physiological mechanisms. This finding contributes to our understanding of the pathology of APS and may lead to the development of different targeted therapies for VT or PM APS.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)114-123
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Autoimmunity
Publication statusPublished - Sep 1 2018


  • APS
  • Gene expression profiling
  • Monocytes
  • Pregnancy morbidity
  • Vascular thrombosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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