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In Scientific reports ; h5-index 158.0

Severe acute mountain sickness (sAMS) can be life-threatening, but little is known about its genetic basis. The study was aimed to explore the genetic susceptibility of sAMS for the purpose of prediction, using microarray data from 112 peripheral blood mononuclear cell (PBMC) samples of 21 subjects, who were exposed to very high altitude (5260 m), low barometric pressure (406 mmHg), and hypobaric hypoxia (VLH) at various timepoints. We found that exposure to VLH activated gene expression in leukocytes, resulting in an inverted CD4/CD8 ratio that interacted with other phenotypic risk factors at the genetic level. A total of 2286 underlying risk genes were input into the support vector machine recursive feature elimination (SVM-RFE) system for machine learning, and a model with satisfactory predictive accuracy and clinical applicability was established for sAMS screening using ten featured genes with significant predictive power. Five featured genes (EPHB3, DIP2B, RHEBL1, GALNT13, and SLC8A2) were identified upstream of hypoxia- and/or inflammation-related pathways mediated by microRNAs as potential biomarkers for sAMS. The established prediction model of sAMS holds promise for clinical application as a genetic screening tool for sAMS.

Yang Min, Wu Yang, Yang Xing-Biao, Liu Tao, Zhang Ya, Zhuo Yue, Luo Yong, Zhang Nan