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Transcriptional profiling of chronic clinical hepatic schistosomiasis japonica indicates reduced metabolism and immune responses

  • GEOFFREY N. GOBERT (a1), MELISSA L. BURKE (a1), DONALD P. MCMANUS (a1), MAGDA K. ELLIS (a1), CANDY CHUAH (a1) (a2) (a3), GRANT A. RAMM (a1), YUANYUAN WANG (a4) and YUESHENG LI (a1) (a4)...


Schistosomiasis is a significant cause of human morbidity and mortality. We performed a genome-wide transcriptional survey of liver biopsies obtained from Chinese patients with chronic schistosomiasis only, or chronic schistosomiasis with a current or past history of viral hepatitis B. Both disease groups were compared with patients with no prior history or indicators of any liver disease. Analysis showed in the main, downregulation in gene expression, particularly those involved in signal transduction via EIF2 signalling and mTOR signalling, as were genes associated with cellular remodelling. Focusing on immune associated pathways, genes were generally downregulated. However, a set of three genes associated with granulocytes, MMP7, CLDN7, CXCL6 were upregulated. Differential gene profiles unique to schistosomiasis included the gene Granulin which was decreased despite being generally considered a marker for liver disease, and IGBP2 which is associated with increased liver size, and was the most upregulated gene in schistosomiasis only patients, all of which presented with hepatomegaly. The unique features of gene expression, in conjunction with previous reports in the murine model of the cellular composition of granulomas, granuloma formation and recovery, provide an increased understanding of the molecular immunopathology and general physiological processes underlying hepatic schistosomiasis.


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* Corresponding authors. QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute, Brisbane, Qld 4006, Australia. E-mail:;


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