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Bioinformatic analysis of the role of immune checkpoint genes and immune infiltration in the pathogenesis and development of premature ovarian insufficiency.

PURPOSE: With advances in immunology, increasing evidence suggests that immunity is involved in premature ovarian insufficiency (POI) pathogenesis. This study investigated the roles of immune checkpoint genes and immune cell infiltration in POI pathogenesis and development.

METHODS: The GSE39501 dataset and immune checkpoint genes were obtained from the Gene Expression Omnibus database and related literature. The two datasets were intersected to obtain immune checkpoint-related differentially expressed genes (ICRDEGs), which were analyzed using Gene Ontology and Kyoto Encyclopedia of Gene and Genomes enrichment analysis, weighted correlation network analysis, protein-protein interaction and related microRNAs, transcription factors, and RNA binding proteins. The immune cell infiltration of ICRDEGs was explored, and receiver operating characteristic curves were used to validate the diagnostic value of ICRDEGs in POI.

RESULTS: We performed ICRDEG functional enrichment analysis and found that these genes were closely related to immune processes, such as T cell activation. Specifically, they are enriched in various biological processes and pathways, such as cell adhesion molecule and T cell receptor signaling pathways. Weighted correlation network analysis identified seven hub genes: Cd200, Cd274, Cd28, neurociliary protein-1, Cd276, Cd40lg, and Cd47. Furthermore, we identified 112 microRNAs, 17 RNA-binding proteins, and 101 transcription factors. Finally, immune infiltration analysis showed a clear positive correlation between hub genes and multiple immune cell types.

CONCLUSION: Bioinformatic analysis identified seven potential ICRDEGs associated with POI, among which the immune checkpoint molecules CD200 and neurociliary protein-1 may be involved in the pathogenesis of POI.

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