Neuroinflammatory gene expression in chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome patients: insights into etiology and phenotype biology.

Chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome (CP/CPPS) has diverse clinical phenotypes and its etiology is multifactorial. Studies to date of gene expression in humans have been limited to small numbers of target genes. NanoString can simultaneously measure hundreds of genes. We wished to study gene expression in blood and urine of CP/CPPS patients compared to controls for neuroinflammatory genes and characterize the results by patient phenotype.

Blood and urine were collected from 10 men with CP/CPPS and 7 asymptomatic controls. RNA was isolated from urine pellets using Qiagen RNeasy kits. Whole blood was collected and RNA isolated. 100 ng of RNA was used for gene expression analysis with the 770-gene NanoString Human Neuroinflammation gene panel. Data was imported into Rosalind (OnRamp Bioinformatics) for normalization, calculation of fold-changes and P values, and identification of enriched pathways. Gene expression was considered significantly different if there was a greater than 1.5× change compared to controls and corrected P was <0.05.

Mean patient age was 42.2 years, median symptom duration was 15.5 months, median UPOINT domains was 3 and mean total National Institute of Health-Chronic Prostatitis Symptom Index Score was 28.8. In blood, there were 5 genes with significantly different expression to controls, the largest differences found in FOS1 (neuropathic pain control), PROS1 (blood clotting) and DDX58 (antiviral innate immunity). Gene set analysis showed differences in inflammation, angiogenesis and cytokine signaling. In urine there were 48 genes with significantly different expression including SLAMF8 (lymphocyte activation) and LAIR1 (inhibits B and T cell function). Gene set analysis showed differences in carbohydrate metabolism, neurons and neurotransmission, adaptive immunity and inflammatory signaling. Subgroup analysis by UPOINT domain showed unique gene expression in the Organ Specific and Neurologic/Systemic domains in both blood and urine for neurogenic pain and cytokine signaling associated genes.

Men with CP/CPPS have a diverse set of neuroinflammatory genes with differential expression compared to controls. Clinical phenotypes have distinct patterns of gene expression. These findings could lead to novel biomarker development, emphasize the importance of multimodal therapy targeting diverse pathways and further validate the biologic basic of clinical phenotyping.

Translational andrology and urology. 2021 Aug [Epub]

Daniel A Shoskes, Karen S Keslar, Paige Gotwald, Ryan Berglund, Sarah Vij

Glickman Urological and Kidney Institute, The Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, OH, USA.

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