Studying Genes to Help

Studying Genes to Help Dogs and Humans

Immune-mediated hemolytic anemia (IMHA) is an autoimmune disorder in which the body attacks and removes its own blood cells, causing severe anemia and other problems. This life-threatening disease appears in both humans and dogs, but it appears in dogs significantly more often. Because of this, researchers are able to use dogs to study the disease with a goal to applying their findings to the human disease.

MSI PI Steven Friedenberg (assistant professor, Veterinary Clinical Sciences) and colleagues recently published a study in PLoS One that used RNA sequencing to investigate gene expression differences in dogs with and without IMHA. The researchers discovered several genes affecting normal blood function that are either over- or under-expressed in dogs with IMHA compared to healthy dogs. After further research, this could have implications for developing novel therapeutic treatments.

The study can be found on the journal website: Corie Borchert, Adam Herman, Megan Roth, Aimee C. Brooks, Steven G. Friedenberg. 2020. RNA sequencing of whole blood in dogs with primary immune-mediated hemolytic anemia (IMHA) reveals novel insights into disease pathogenesis. PLoS One 15. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0240975. 

photo of three dogs in the snow

Professor Friedenberg uses MSI for several projects concerning autoimmune diseases that affect both dogs and humans. Dr. Adam Herman of MSI’s Research Informatics Solutions group performed RNA-sequence analysis for this research, and MSI’s Director of Applications and Services, Dr. Josh Baller, is cited in the paper’s acknowledgments.

See all Research Spotlights

Discover Advanced Computing and Data Solutions at MSI

Our Services