Compelling preclinical studies indicate that low-dose carbon monoxide (CO) abrogates experimental lung fibrosis. We recently reported the results of a multicenter, double-blinded, clinical trial of inhaled CO in patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF). Identifying no significantly changes in metalloproteinase-7 (MMP7) serum concentration, or secondary endpoints of physiologic measurements, hospitalization, death, or patient-reported outcomes. In the present study, we evaluated the effect of low dose CO exposure (100–200 ppm) for 12 weeks on genome-wide gene expression in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) derived from these IPF study subjects. We conducted transcriptome profiling on 38 IPF subjects with time points available at 0, 12, and 24 weeks. Total RNA isolated from PBMCs was hybridized onto the Affymetrix Human Gene 2.0 ST Array. We identified 621 genes significantly upregulated in the 24-week CO exposed group compared with the 12-week. Pathway analysis demonstrated association with Oxidative Phosphorylation (adjusted P < 0.05). We identified a clear CO signature dominated with 23 oxidative phosphorylation-related genes (FDR <10%). We confirmed the expression of nine selected gene products using Nanostring’s nCounter analysis system. These findings suggest this signature may serve as a potential genomic biomarker for CO exposure and for potential titration of dosage to allow precision testing of therapies in future low dose CO therapeutic studies in IPF.
ASJC Scopus subject areas