Anaphylaxis to insect venom (Hymenoptera) is most severe in patients with mastocytosis and may even lead to death. However, not all patients with mastocytosis suffer from anaphylaxis. The aim of the study was to analyze differences in gene expression between patients with indolent systemic mastocytosis (ISM) and a history of insect venom anaphylaxis (IVA) compared to those patients without a history of anaphylaxis, and to determine the predictive use of gene expression profiling.
Whole-genome gene expression analysis was performed in peripheral blood cells.
Twenty-two adults with ISM were included: 12 with a history of IVA and 10 without a history of anaphylaxis of any kind. Significant differences in single gene expression corrected for multiple testing were found for 104 transcripts (P <0.05). Gene ontology analysis revealed that the differentially expressed genes were involved in pathways responsible for the development of cancer and focal and cell adhesion suggesting that the expression of genes related to the differentiation state of cells is higher in patients with a history of anaphylaxis. Based on the gene expression profiles, a naive Bayes prediction model was built identifying patients with IVA.
In ISM, gene expression profiles are different between patients with a history of IVA and those without. These findings might reflect a more pronounced mast cells dysfunction in patients without a history of anaphylaxis. Gene expression profiling might be a useful tool to predict the risk of anaphylaxis on insect venom in patients with ISM. Prospective studies are needed to substantiate any conclusions.