Expanding the search for genetic biomarkers of Parkinson's disease into the living brain
Neurobiology of Disease
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Altered gene expression related to Parkinson's Disease (PD) has not been described in the living brain, yet this information may support novel discovery pertinent to disease pathophysiology and treatment. This study compared the transcriptome in brain biopsies obtained from living PD and Control patients. To evaluate the novelty of this data, a comprehensive literature review also compared differentially expressed gene (DEGs) identified in the current study with those reported in PD cadaveric brain and peripheral tissues. RNA was extracted from rapidly cryopreserved frontal lobe specimens collected from PD and Control patients undergoing neurosurgical procedures. RNA sequencing (RNA-Seq) was performed and validated using quantitative polymerase chain reaction. DEG data was assessed using bioinformatics and subsequently included within a comparative analysis of PD RNA-Seq studies. 370 DEGs identified in living brain specimens reflected diverse gene groups and included key members of trophic signaling, apoptosis, inflammation and cell metabolism pathways. The comprehensive literature review yielded 7 RNA-Seq datasets generated from blood, skin and cadaveric brain but none from a living brain source. From the current dataset, 123 DEGs were identified only within the living brain and 267 DEGs were either newly found or had distinct directional change in living brain relative to other tissues. This is the first known study to analyze the transcriptome in brain tissue from living PD and Control patients. The data produced using these methods offer a unique, unexplored resource with potential to advance insight into the genetic associations of PD.