A Pilot Study of Whole-Blood Transcriptomic Analysis to Identify Genes Associated with Repetitive Low-Level Blast Exposure in Career Breachers

Rany Vorn*, Katie A. Edwards, James Hentig, Sijung Yun, Hyung Suk Kim, Chen Lai, Christina Devoto, Angela M. Yarnell, Elena Polejaeva, Kristine C. Dell, Matthew L. Lopresti, Peter Walker, Walter Carr, James R. Stone, Stephen T. Ahlers, Jessica M. Gill*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

Repetitive low-level blast exposure is one of the major occupational health concerns among US military service members and law enforcement. This study seeks to identify gene expression using microRNA and RNA sequencing in whole-blood samples from experienced breachers and unexposed controls. We performed experimental RNA sequencing using Illumina’s HiSeq 2500 Sequencing System, and microRNA analysis using NanoString Technology nCounter miRNA expression panel in whole-blood total RNA samples from 15 experienced breachers and 14 age-, sex-, and race-matched unexposed controls. We identified 10 significantly dysregulated genes between experienced breachers and unexposed controls, with FDR corrected <0.05: One upregulated gene, LINC00996 (long intergenic non-protein coding RNA 996); and nine downregulated genes, IGLV3-16 (immunoglobulin lambda variable 3-16), CD200 (CD200 molecule), LILRB5 (leukocyte immunoglobulin-like receptor B5), ZNF667-AS1 (ZNF667 antisense RNA 1), LMOD1 (leiomodin 1), CNTNAP2 (contactin-associated protein 2), EVPL (envoplakin), DPF3 (double PHD fingers 3), and IGHV4-34 (immunoglobulin heavy variable 4-34). The dysregulated gene expressions reported here have been associated with chronic inflammation and immune response, suggesting that these pathways may relate to the risk of lasting neurological symptoms following high exposures to blast over a career.

Original languageEnglish
Article number690
JournalBiomedicines
Volume10
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2022
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • experienced breacher
  • repetitive low-level blast
  • traumatic brain injury

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