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Expression Levels of 4 Genes in Colon Tissue Might Be Used to Predict Which Patients Will Enter Endoscopic Remission After Vedolizumab Therapy for Inflammatory Bowel Diseases

Journal Contribution - Journal Article

BACKGROUND & AIMS: We aimed to identify biomarkers that might be used to predict responses of patients with inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) to vedolizumab therapy. METHODS: We obtained biopsies from inflamed colon of patients with IBD who began treatment with vedolizumab (n = 31) or tumor necrosis factor (TNF) antagonists (n = 20) and performed RNA-sequencing analyses. We compared gene expression patterns between patients who did and did not enter endoscopic remission (absence of ulcerations at month 6 for patients with Crohn's disease or Mayo endoscopic subscore ≤1 at week 14 for patients with ulcerative colitis) and performed pathway analysis and cell deconvolution for training (n = 20) and validation (n = 11) datasets. Colon biopsies were also analyzed by immunohistochemistry. We validated a baseline gene expression pattern associated with endoscopic remission after vedolizumab therapy using 3 independent datasets (n = 66). RESULTS: We identified significant differences in expression levels of 44 genes between patients who entered remission after vedolizumab and those who did not; we found significant increases in leukocyte migration in colon tissues from patients who did not enter remission (P < .006). Deconvolution methods identified a significant enrichment of monocytes (P = .005), M1-macrophages (P = .05), and CD4+ T cells (P = .008) in colon tissues from patients who did not enter remission, whereas colon tissues from patients in remission had higher numbers of naïve B cells before treatment (P = .05). Baseline expression levels of PIWIL1, MAATS1, RGS13, and DCHS2 identified patients who did vs did not enter remission with 80% accuracy in the training set and 100% accuracy in validation dataset 1. We validated these findings in the 3 independent datasets by microarray, RNA sequencing and quantitative PCR analysis (P = .003). Expression levels of these 4 genes did not associate with response to anti-TNF agents. We confirmed the presence of proteins encoded by mRNAs using immunohistochemistry. CONCLUSIONS: We identified 4 genes whose baseline expression levels in colon tissues of patients with IBD associate with endoscopic remission after vedolizumab, but not anti-TNF, treatment. We validated this signature in 4 independent datasets and also at the protein level. Studies of these genes might provide insights into the mechanisms of action of vedolizumab.
Journal: Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology
ISSN: 1542-3565
Issue: 5
Volume: 18
Pages: 1142 - +
Number of pages: 20
Publication year:2020