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.

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.

Research Computing participant:

  • Minnesota Supercomputing Institute
photo of three dogs in the snow