Genome-Wide Characterization of Transcriptional Patterns in High and Low Antibody Responders to Rubella Vaccination

Iana H. Haralambieva, Ann L. Oberg, Inna G. Ovsyannikova, Richard B. Kennedy, Diane E. Grill, Sumit Middha, Brian M. Bot, Vivian W. Wang, David I. Smith, Robert M. Jacobson, Gregory A. Poland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Immune responses to current rubella vaccines demonstrate significant inter-individual variability. We performed mRNA-Seq profiling on PBMCs from high and low antibody responders to rubella vaccination to delineate transcriptional differences upon viral stimulation. Generalized linear models were used to assess the per gene fold change (FC) for stimulated versus unstimulated samples or the interaction between outcome and stimulation. Model results were evaluated by both FC and p-value. Pathway analysis and self-contained gene set tests were performed for assessment of gene group effects.Of 17,566 detected genes, we identified 1,080 highly significant differentially expressed genes upon viral stimulation (p<1.00E-15, FDR<1.00E-14), including various immune function and inflammation-related genes, genes involved in cell signaling, cell regulation and transcription, and genes with unknown function. Analysis by immune outcome and stimulation status identified 27 genes (p≤0.0006 and FDR≤0.30) that responded differently to viral stimulation in high vs. low antibody responders, including major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class I genes (HLA-A, HLA-B and B2M with p = 0.0001, p = 0.0005 and p = 0.0002, respectively), and two genes related to innate immunity and inflammation (EMR3 and MEFV with p = 1.46E-08 and p = 0.0004, respectively). Pathway and gene set analysis also revealed transcriptional differences in antigen presentation and innate/inflammatory gene sets and pathways between high and low responders. Using mRNA-Seq genome-wide transcriptional profiling, we identified antigen presentation and innate/inflammatory genes that may assist in explaining rubella vaccine-induced immune response variations. Such information may provide new scientific insights into vaccine-induced immunity useful in rational vaccine development and immune response monitoring.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere62149
JournalPloS one
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • General


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