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Clinical Trial Summary

The overall purpose of this study is to describe the cellular composition of the human appendix and its gene expression using scRNAseq and scATACseq methods. This will potentially provide is with a complete and detailed map of the appendix´ immunological properties and its role in neuro-endocrine/metabolic functions. Our results will be held up against current knowledge of the appendix and its role in the human body and thus hopefully expand our understanding of this organ and the consequences of its removal by appendectomy.

Clinical Trial Description

Until recently the human appendix was viewed as a rudimentary organ without any specific function in the human body. Our current knowledge of the cellular composition of the appendix is solely based on histological examinations combined with immunohistochemical stains. These examinations have shown that the structural composition of the appendix is similar to the large intestine, with mucosa, submucosa, muscularis externa and serosa. Uniquely, the appendix has almost circumferential lymphoid follicles in the submucosa and lamina propria, and thus becomes a secondary lymphoid organ. In addition to this, the appendix contains Lieberkühn's crypts, which in contrast to the large intestine contains Paneth cells and argentaffine (enterochromaffin) neuro-endocrine cells1 2 Recently, the appendix´ role in regulation of immunologic functions has been discovered. It is believed that the great bacterial diversity in the appendix stimulates the human immune system and aids in the maturation and diversification of white blood cells, especially B-cells in the lymphoid follicles in the appendix.3 The appendix contains a larger quantity of CD5+ (B1), CD19+, Immunoglobulin-secreting IgG and secretory IgA cells compared to the large intestine. In the luminal follicle-associated epithelium, a high concentration of intra-epithelial M-cells as well as human leukocyte antigen D-related (HLA-DR) T and B cells are seen.4 The human appendix has a unique cellular composition, which plays a role in bacterial homeostasis in the large intestine5 and entero-endocrine regulation6. Furthermore, removing the appendix can drastically change incidence of certain metabolic and immune-related diseases such as type II diabetes7 and ulcerative colitis8. Despite this, only very few studies have investigated the cellular composition of the human appendix, and none of these have used single-cell (sc) RNA or DNA-sequencing to aid in our understanding of this organ. By using scRNAseq and scATACseq (Single-cell Assay of Transposase Accessible Chromatin sequencing) we will be able to map open regions in the cell's DNA and RNA, thus providing us with a unique "map" of the cells in the appendix as well is their gene expression9-11. ScATACseq visualizes open regions in the chromatin, generating "peaks" which can then be used to map DNA motifs, such as transcription factor binding sites. With the emergence of scATACseq, chromatin accessibility is in combination with gene expression data an extremely useful resource to study cell type specific regulatory DNA interactions. To further study the immunological aspects of the appendix, we will extract immune cells from the Peyer´s plaques. Lastly, full blood will be extracted to better analyse metabolic risk factors in relation to the appendix´ metabolic cellular regulation. ;

Study Design

Related Conditions & MeSH terms

NCT number NCT05209061
Study type Observational [Patient Registry]
Source Bispebjerg Hospital
Contact Jacob Antonsen, MD
Phone +4520847551
Status Recruiting
Start date February 1, 2023
Completion date June 1, 2024

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