Variation in gene expression profiles of peripheral blood mononuclear cells from healthy volunteers

Physiol Genomics. 2005 Aug 11;22(3):402-11. doi: 10.1152/physiolgenomics.00080.2005. Epub 2005 Jul 12.


The normal degree of intra- and interindividual variation in gene transcription profiles of healthy human tissues has not been extensively investigated. In the study described here, microarrays were employed to analyze gene transcription in peripheral blood mononuclear cells prepared from serial blood samples that had been obtained, at weekly intervals, from apparently healthy human volunteers. Transcript levels for the majority of genes examined were found to be remarkably consistent within samples from a single donor. Conversely, marked differences were observed in samples obtained from different donors. Genes that exhibited differential expression dependent on sex, age, body mass index, and the presence of varying proportions of different leukocyte subsets were identified. These results emphasize the important contributions of genetic and environmental factors, as well as varying representation of different cell types, in determining the overall gene transcriptional profiles of human tissues. However, the study also provides evidence that, within an individual, the gene transcription profiles of sampled tissues can be comparatively stable over time.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cluster Analysis
  • Female
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Gene Expression
  • Gene Expression Profiling*
  • Gene Expression Regulation*
  • Genetic Variation*
  • Humans
  • Leukocytes / metabolism
  • Leukocytes, Mononuclear / metabolism*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Models, Statistical
  • Oligonucleotide Array Sequence Analysis
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • Sex Factors


  • RNA, Messenger