Hashimoto's thyroiditis (HT), also known as chronic lymphocytic thyroiditis, is a common autoimmune disease, which mainly occurs in women. The early manifestation was hyperthyroidism, however, hypothyroidism may occur if HT was not controlled for a long time. Numerous studies have shown that multiple factors, including genetic, environmental, and autoimmune factors, were involved in the pathogenesis of the disease, but the exact mechanisms were not yet clear. The aim of this study was to identify differentially expressed genes (DEGs) by comprehensive analysis and to provide specific insights into HT.
Two gene expression profiles (GSE6339, GSE138198) about HT were downloaded from the Gene Expression Omnibus (GEO) database. The DEGs were assessed between the HT and normal groups using the GEO2R. The DEGs were then sent to the Gene Ontology (GO) and the Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) pathway enrichment analysis. The hub genes were discovered using Cytoscape and CytoHubba. Finally, NetworkAnalyst was utilized to create the hub genes' targeted microRNAs (miRNAs).
A total of 62 DEGs were discovered, including 60 up-regulated and 2 down-regulated DEGs. The signaling pathways were mainly engaged in cytokine interaction and cytotoxicity, and the DEGs were mostly enriched in immunological and inflammatory responses. IL2RA, CXCL9, IL10RA, CCL3, CCL4, CCL2, STAT1, CD4, CSF1R, and ITGAX were chosen as hub genes based on the results of the protein-protein interaction (PPI) network and CytoHubba. Five miRNAs, including mir-24-3p, mir-223-3p, mir-155-5p, mir-34a-5p, mir-26b-5p, and mir-6499-3p, were suggested as likely important miRNAs in HT.
These hub genes, pathways and miRNAs contribute to a better understanding of the pathophysiology of HT and offer potential treatment options for HT.