Lilja S, Li X, Smelik M, Lee EJ, Loscalzo J, Marthanda PB, Hu L, Magnusson M, Sysoev O, Zhang H, Zhao Y, Sjöwall C, Gawel D, Wang H, Benson M
Cell Reports Medicine - (-) 100956 [2023-02-17; online 2023-02-17]
Prioritization of disease mechanisms, biomarkers, and drug targets in immune-mediated inflammatory diseases (IMIDs) is complicated by altered interactions between thousands of genes. Our multi-organ single-cell RNA sequencing of a mouse IMID model, namely collagen-induced arthritis, shows highly complex and heterogeneous expression changes in all analyzed organs, even though only joints showed signs of inflammation. We organized those into a multi-organ multicellular disease model, which shows predicted molecular interactions within and between organs. That model supports that inflammation is switched on or off by altered balance between pro- and anti-inflammatory upstream regulators (URs) and downstream pathways. Meta-analyses of human IMIDs show a similar, but graded, on/off switch system. This system has the potential to prioritize, diagnose, and treat optimal combinations of URs on the levels of IMIDs, subgroups, and individual patients. That potential is supported by UR analyses in more than 600 sera from patients with systemic lupus erythematosus.