Individual-specific variation of gene expression in peripheral blood leukocytes

Genomics. 2004 Jun;83(6):980-8. doi: 10.1016/j.ygeno.2003.12.013.


DNA microarray technology is used to determine gene expression profiles of various cell types, especially abnormal cells, such as cancer. By contrast, relatively little attention has been given to expression profiling of normal tissues. Here we describe studies of gene expression in peripheral blood leukocytes (PBL) from normal individuals sampled multiple times over periods ranging from several weeks up to 6 months. We demonstrate stable patterns of gene expression that differ between individuals. Among the genes whose expression varies by individual is a group of genes responsive to interferon stimulation. Certain individuals ( approximately 10-20% of those tested) showed higher baseline levels and lower inducibility of these genes in response to in vitro interferon stimulation. These studies demonstrate the feasibility of using DNA microarrays to measure the variations in gene expression of PBL from different individuals in response to environmental and genetic factors.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Gene Expression Regulation*
  • Genetic Variation
  • Humans
  • Interferons / metabolism
  • Leukocytes / metabolism*
  • Lipopolysaccharides / pharmacology
  • Oligonucleotide Array Sequence Analysis


  • Lipopolysaccharides
  • Interferons