Differential transcriptomics in sarcoidosis lung and lymph node granulomas with comparisons to pathogen-specific granulomas

Nancy G. Casanova, Manuel L. Gonzalez-Garay, Belinda Sun, Christian Bime, Xiaoguang Sun, Kenneth S. Knox, Elliott D. Crouser, Nora Sammani, Taylor Gonzales, Bhupinder Natt, Sachin Chaudhary, Yves Lussier, Joe G.N. Garcia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Rationale: Despite the availability of multi-“omics” strategies, insights into the etiology and pathogenesis of sarcoidosis have been elusive. This is partly due to the lack of reliable preclinical models and a paucity of validated biomarkers. As granulomas are a key feature of sarcoidosis, we speculate that direct genomic interrogation of sarcoid tissues, may lead to identification of dysregulated gene pathways or biomarker signatures. Objective: To facilitate the development sarcoidosis genomic biomarkers by gene expression profiling of sarcoidosis granulomas in lung and lymph node tissues (most commonly affected organs) and comparison to infectious granulomas (coccidiodomycosis and tuberculosis). Methods: Transcriptomic profiles of immune-related gene from micro-dissected sarcoidosis granulomas within lung and mediastinal lymph node tissues and compared to infectious granulomas from paraffin-embedded blocks. Differentially-expressed genes (DEGs) were profiled, compared among the three granulomatous diseases and analyzed for functional enrichment pathways. Results: Despite histologic similarities, DEGs and pathway enrichment markedly differed in sarcoidosis granulomas from lymph nodes and lung. Lymph nodes showed a clear immunological response, whereas a structural regenerative response was observed in lung. Sarcoidosis granuloma gene expression data corroborated previously reported genomic biomarkers (STAB1, HBEGF, and NOTCH4), excluded others and identified new genomic markers present in lung and lymph nodes, ADAMTS1, NPR1 and CXCL2. Comparisons between sarcoidosis and pathogen granulomas identified pathway divergences and commonalities at gene expression level. Conclusion: These findings suggest the importance of tissue and disease-specificity evaluation when exploring sarcoidosis genomic markers. This relevant translational information in sarcoidosis and other two histopathological similar infections provides meaningful specific genomic-derived biomarkers for sarcoidosis diagnosis and prognosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number321
JournalRespiratory Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2020


  • Biomarker
  • Gene expression
  • Granulomatous
  • Sarcoidosis
  • Tuberculosis
  • Valley fever

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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