JOURNAL ARTICLE
RESEARCH SUPPORT, NON-U.S. GOV'T
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Identification of the co-differentially expressed hub genes involved in the endogenous protective mechanism against ventilator-induced diaphragm dysfunction.

Skeletal Muscle 2022 September 10
BACKGROUND: In intensive care units (ICU), mechanical ventilation (MV) is commonly applied to save patients' lives. However, ventilator-induced diaphragm dysfunction (VIDD) can complicate treatment by hindering weaning in critically ill patients and worsening outcomes. The goal of this study was to identify potential genes involved in the endogenous protective mechanism against VIDD.

METHODS: Twelve adult male rabbits were assigned to either an MV group or a control group under the same anesthetic conditions. Immunostaining and quantitative morphometry were used to assess diaphragm atrophy, while RNA-seq was used to investigate molecular differences between the groups. Additionally, core module and hub genes were analyzed using WGCNA, and co-differentially expressed hub genes were subsequently discovered by overlapping the differentially expressed genes (DEGs) with the hub genes from WGCNA. The identified genes were validated by western blotting (WB) and quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR).

RESULTS: After a VIDD model was successfully built, 1276 DEGs were found between the MV and control groups. The turquoise and yellow modules were identified as the core modules, and Trim63, Fbxo32, Uchl1, Tmprss13, and Cst3 were identified as the five co-differentially expressed hub genes. After the two atrophy-related genes (Trim63 and Fbxo32) were excluded, the levels of the remaining three genes/proteins (Uchl1/UCHL1, Tmprss13/TMPRSS13, and Cst3/CST3) were found to be significantly elevated in the MV group (P < 0.05), suggesting the existence of a potential antiproteasomal, antiapoptotic, and antiautophagic mechanism against diaphragm dysfunction.

CONCLUSION: The current research helps to reveal a potentially important endogenous protective mechanism that could serve as a novel therapeutic target against VIDD.

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