The objective of this study was to perform global gene expression profiling of patients affected by narcolepsy with cataplexy (NRLCP). This enabled identifying new potential biomarkers and relevant molecules possibly involved in the disease pathogenesis. In this study 10 NRLCP patients with 10 healthy controls were compared. Total RNA isolated from blood specimens was analyzed using microarray technology followed by statistical data analysis to detect genome-wide differential gene expression between patients and controls. Functional analysis of the gene list was performed in order to interpret the biological significance of the data. One hundred and seventy-three genes showed significant (p < 0.01) differential expression between the two tested conditions. The biological interpretation allowed categorizing differentially expressed genes involved in neurite outgrowth/ extension and brain development, which could be possibly regarded as peripheral markers of the disease. Moreover, the NRLCP-related gene expression profiles indicated a dysregulation of metabolic and immune-related mechanisms. In conclusion, the gene expression profile associated to NRLCP suggested that molecular markers of neurological impairment, dysmetabolic and immune-related mechanisms, can be detected in blood of NRLCP patients.
- Gene expression