Transcriptome profiling of regulatory T cells from children with Transient Hypogammaglobulinemia of Infancy

Clin Exp Immunol. 2023 Nov 4:uxad116. doi: 10.1093/cei/uxad116. Online ahead of print.


Transient Hypogammaglobulinemia of Infancy (THI) is one of the most common forms of hypogammaglobulinemia in the early childhood. THI is usually associated with chronic, recurrent bacterial and viral infections, life-threatening in some cases, yet its pathogenesis is still largely unknown. Since our previous findings indicated the possible role of Treg cells in the pathomechanism of THI, the aim of the current study was to investigate gene expression profile of Treg cells isolated from THI patients. The transcriptome-wide gene profiling was performed using microarray technology on THI patients in two time-points: during (THI-1), and in resolution phase (THI-2) of hypogammaglobulinemia. As a result, a total of 1086 genes were differentially expressed in THI-1 patients, when compared to THI-2 as well as control group. Among them, 931 were up- and 155 down-regulated, and part of them encodes genes important for Treg lymphocyte biology and function, i.e. transcription factors/cofactors that regulate FOXP3 expression. Thus, we postulate that Treg cells isolated from THI patients during hypogammaglobulinemia display enhanced suppressor transcriptome signature. Treg expression profile of THI children after normalization of Ig levels largely resembles the results obtained in healthy control group, suggesting THI Treg transcriptome seems to return to that observed in healthy children. Taken together, we suggest that THI pathomechanism is associated not only with transiently elevated Treg cell numbers, but also with their enhanced regulatory/inhibitory functions. These findings expand our knowledge of human Treg cells and may be useful for the future diagnosis or management of THI.

Keywords: Transient hypogammaglobulinemia of infancy; long non-coding RNA; microRNA precursors; microarray analysis; regulatory T cells; transcriptome profiling.