Bao Liu is an undergraduate student at 3rd Medical University, Chongqing, China. He is studying the molecular mechanisms of high altitude illness using transcriptome.



Acute mountain sickness (AMS) is a common disabling condition in individuals experiencing high altitudes, which may progress to life-threatening high altitude cerebral edema. To gain further insight into the molecular underpinnings that participated in the pathophysiology of AMS. We studied paired whole blood transcriptomes from 10 individuals, 5 AMS and 5 non-AMS diagnosed by Lake Louise scoring system, comparing post-exposure to high altitude (5300 m) transcriptomes to their pre-exposure counterparts. We identified 1,164 and 1,322 differentially expressed transcripts in participants with AMS and non-AMS, respectively. Among these genes, only 328 transcripts were common in both AMS and non-AMS individuals. Moreover, immune and inflammatory responses were more enriched in participants with AMS, but not in non-AMS individuals. This study identifies that inflammatory response induced by hypoxia, may be critical in AMS pathogenesis, which is a new direction for AMS pathogenesis investigation and useful for developing pharmacological prophylaxis and treatment.