Document Type : Original Article


1 Department of Biology, College of Science, Damghan Branch, Islamic Azad University, Damghan, Iran

2 Rheumatology Research Center, Tehran University of Medical Sciences

3 Department of Biology, Faculty of Sciences, University of Zanjan, Zanjan, Iran

4 Laboratory of Systems Biology and Bioinformatics, Institute of Biochemistry and Biophysics, University ‎of Tehran, Tehran, Iran


Introduction: Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and osteoarthritis (OA) are two of the most frequent ‎forms of arthritis, which may exhibit common etiology and clinical manifestations. ‎Distinguishing between them is very important to determine the effective treatment and their ‎management.‎
Methods: In the present study, we analyzed the Affymetrix microarray gene expression dataset ‎‎(GSE55457) retrieved from 10 healthy controls, 13 patients with RA, and 10 OA patients for ‎identification of hub genes to distinguish between RA and OA by weighted gene co-expression ‎network (WGCNA) analysis and functional enrichment analysis. Meanwhile, the Search Tool ‎for the Retrieval of Interacting Genes/Proteins (STRING) database was used to construct ‎protein-protein interaction (PPI) network.‎
Results: The most significant immune pathways associated with RA disease obtained from ‎functional enrichment analysis were Th17, Th1, and Th2 cell differentiation, and cytokine-‎cytokine receptor interaction pathways. The results of the present study demonstrated that two ‎hub genes, IL2RB and HLA-DOB, may help to differentiate patients with RA from patients with ‎OA at the time of diagnosis. ‎
Conclusion: ‎
This study introduces potential pathways and candidate biomarker genes to discriminate the RA ‎and OA.‎


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