Glucocorticoids (GCs) play a central role in modulation of inflammation in various diseases, including respiratory diseases such as sarcoidosis. Surprisingly, the specific anti-inflammatory effects of GCs on different myeloid cells especially in macrophages remain poorly understood. Sarcoidosis is a systemic granulomatous disease of unknown etiology that occurs worldwide and is characterized by granuloma formation in different organs. Alveolar macrophages play a role in sarcoidosis granuloma formation and progressive lung disease. The goal of the present study is to identify the effect of GCs on transcriptomic profiles and the cellular pathways in sarcoidosis alveolar macrophages and their corresponding blood myeloid cells. We determined and compared the whole transcriptional signatures of alveolar macrophages from sarcoidosis patients and blood CD14+ monocytes of the same subjects in response to in vitro treatment with dexamethasone (DEX) via RNA-sequencing. In response to DEX, we identified 2,834 genes that were differentially expressed in AM. Predominant pathways affected were as following: metabolic pathway (FDR = 4.1 × 10−10), lysosome (FDR = 6.3 × 10−9), phagosome (FDR = 3.9 × 10−5). The DEX effect on AMs is associated with metabolic derangements involving glycolysis, oxidative phosphorylation and lipid metabolisms. In contrast, the top impacted pathways in response to DEX treatment in blood CD14+ monocytes were as following; cytokine-cytokine receptor interaction (FDR = 6 × 10−6) and transcriptional misregulation in cancer (FDR = 1 × 10−4). Pathways similarly affected in both cell types were genes involved in lysosomes, cytoskeleton and transcriptional misregulation in cancer. These data suggest that the different effects of DEX on AMs and peripheral blood monocytes are partly dictated by lineage specific transcriptional programs and their physiological functions.
- alveolar macrophages
- gene expression