Whole transcriptome profiling identifies CD93 and other plasma cell survival factor genes associated with measles-specific antibody response after vaccination

Iana H. Haralambieva, Michael T. Zimmermann, Inna G. Ovsyannikova, Diane E. Grill, Ann L Oberg, Richard B Kennedy, Gregory A. Poland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Scopus citations


Background: There are insufficient system-wide transcriptomic (or other) data that help explain the observed inter-individual variability in antibody titers after measles vaccination in otherwise healthy individuals. Methods: We performed a transcriptome(mRNA-Seq)-profiling study after in vitro viral stimulation of PBMCs from 30 measles vaccine recipients, selected from a cohort of 764 schoolchildren, based on the highest and lowest antibody titers. We used regression and network biology modeling to define markers associated with neutralizing antibody response. Results: We identified 39 differentially expressed genes that demonstrate significant differences between the high and low antibody responder groups (p-value≤0.0002, q-value≤0.092), including the top gene CD93 (p<1.0E-13, q<1.0E-09), encoding a receptor required for antigen- driven B-cell differentiation, maintenance of immunoglobulin production and preservation of plasma cells in the bone marrow. Network biology modeling highlighted plasma cell survival (CD93, IL6, CXCL12), chemokine/cytokine activity and cell-cell communication/ adhesion/migration as biological processes associated with the observed differential response in the two responder groups. Conclusion: We identified genes and pathways that explain in part, and are associated with, neutralizing antibody titers after measles vaccination. This new knowledge could assist in the identification of biomarkers and predictive signatures of protective immunity that may be useful in the design of new vaccine candidates and in clinical studies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere0160970
JournalPLoS One
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1 2016


ASJC Scopus subject areas

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

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