Multimodal single-cell analysis provides novel insights on ankylosing spondylitis in females

柯泰名助理教授研究團隊發表研究成果於 Clin Transl Med.



Ankylosing spondylitis (AS) is a chronic rheumatic disease that causes disability and severe impairment in the quality of life, especially in females. However, almost nothing is known about how large heterogenous circulating immune cells are involved in developing AS. Here we used droplet-based single-cell sequencing for multi-omic profiling of PBMCs obtained from female patients and sex-matched healthy individuals and performed multimodal single-cell analyses including single-cell-level unbiased transcriptome, surface protein expression, pseudotemporal trajectory analysis, cell-cell interaction analysis, and T-cell receptor repertoire. By applying multiple filtering strategies, we selected common single-cell blood features across the patients to reveal a unique T-cell state wherein GIMAP7 was up-regulated and NFKBIA was down-regulated. Furthermore, we identified a panel of cell-surface markers and dominant T-cell clonotypes on this unique T-cell subset (NFKBIA- GIMAP7+). We identified a unique VEGI signalling pathway between the T-cells and NK cells that uncovered potential triggers for developing exclusive T-cell states in female patients with AS. This finding could be valuable for developing innovative therapies that selectively target the aberrant immune response in female patients with AS.