Evaluation of host immune response in diabetic foot infection tissues using an RNA sequencing-based approach

Fatemah Sadeghpour Heravi, Martha Zakrzewski, Hamidreza Aboulkheyr Estarabadi, Karen Vickery, Honghua Hu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
18 Downloads (Pure)


The normal continuity of skin tissue can be affected by invading pathogens and lead to a series of complicated physiological events. Using an RNA sequencing-based approach, we have captured a metatranscriptomic landscape from diabetic foot infections (DFIs). The hierarchical clustering of the top 2,000 genes showed the expression of four main clusters in DFIs (A, B, C, and D). Clusters A and D were enriched in genes mainly involved in the recruitment of inflammatory cells and immune responses and clusters B and C were enriched in genes related to skin cell development and wound healing processes such as extracellular structure organization and blood vessel development. Differential expression analysis showed more than 500 differentially expressed genes (DEGs) between samples with a low number of virulence factors and samples with a high number of virulence factors. Up-regulated and down-regulated genes were mainly involved in adaptive/native immune responses and transport of mature mRNAs, respectively. Our results demonstrated the importance of inflammatory cytokines of adaptive/native immunity in the progression of DFIs and provided a useful groundwork for capturing gene snapshots in DFIs. In addition, we have provided a general introduction to the challenges and opportunities of RNA sequencing technology in the evaluation of DFIs. Pathways identified in this study such as immune chemokines, Rho GTPases, and corresponding effectors might be important therapeutic targets in the management of DFIs.

Original languageEnglish
Article number613697
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
JournalFrontiers in Microbiology
Publication statusPublished - 4 Feb 2021

Bibliographical note

Copyright the Author(s) 2021. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.


  • chemokines
  • cytokines
  • diabetic foot infections
  • immune system
  • RNA sequencing
  • wound healing 2


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