Identification of potential novel biomarkers and signaling pathways related to otitis media induced by diesel exhaust particles using transcriptomic analysis in an in vivo system

Hyo Jeong Kim, So Young Kim, Jee Young Kwon, Yeo Jin Kim, Seung Hun Kang, Won Hee Jang, Jun Ho Lee, Myung Whan Seo, Jae Jun Song, Young Rok Seo, Moo Kyun Park

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction Air pollutants are associated with inflammatory diseases such as otitis media (OM). Significantly higher incidence rates of OM are reported in regions with air pollution. Diesel exhaust particles (DEPs) comprise a major class of contaminants among numerous air pollutants, and they are characterized by a carbonic mixture of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), nitro-PAHs, and small amounts of sulfate, nitrate, metals and other trace elements. DEP exposure is a risk factor for inflammatory diseases. Our previous study identified potential biomarkers using gene expression microarray and pathway analyses in an in vitro system. Although in vitro investigations have been conducted to elucidate plausible biomarkers and molecular mechanisms related to DEP exposure, in vivo studies are necessary to identify the exact biological relevance regarding the incidence of OM caused by DEP exposure. In this study, we identified potential molecular biomarkers and pathways triggered by DEP exposure in a rodent model. Methods Transcriptomic analysis was employed to identify novel potential biomarkers in the middle ear of DEP-exposed mice. Results A total of 697 genes were differentially expressed in the DEP-exposed mice; 424 genes were upregulated and 273 downregulated. In addition, signaling pathways among the differentially expressed genes mediated by DEP exposure were predicted. Several key molecular biomarkers were identified including cholinergic receptor muscarinic 1 (CHRM1), erythropoietin (EPO), son of sevenless homolog 1 (SOS1), estrogen receptor 1 (ESR1), cluster of differentiation 4 (CD4) and interferon alpha-1 (IFNA1). Conclusions Our results shed light on the related cell processes and gene signaling pathways affected by DEP exposure. The identified biomarkers might be potential candidates for determining early diagnoses and effective treatment strategies for DEP-mediated disorders.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0166044
JournalPloS one
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Nov
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the Korea Ministry of the Environment (grant no. 2016001360009) under the auspices of the 'Environmental Health Action Program.' This work was supported by Research Resettlement Fund for the new faculty of Seoul National University. The English in this document has been checked by at least two professional editors, both native speakers of English. For a certificate, please see:

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Kim et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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