Researchers from China developed a new model based on inflammation-related genes for the prediction of overall survival (OS) in patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF).

“This report reveals the importance of genes linked with inflammation in the prognosis of individuals with IPF,” the study team wrote. “A new four-gene risk model based on [bronchoalveolar lavage fluid] expression profile was built to predict the progress and prognosis of IPF, which is conducive to further monitoring and management of IPF patients.”

The 4 genes included in the model were TPBG, MYC, FFAR2, and CCL2. The Kaplan-Meier survival analysis showed that individuals in the high-risk group had worse OS than those in the low-risk group in both the training and validation sets.

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Moreover, univariate and multivariate analyses indicated that the 4-gene risk model may be an independent risk factor for poor prognosis in IPF. The prediction efficiency of the risk model reached 0.784, 0.835, and 0.921 at 1, 3, and 5 years, respectively, in the training set.

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The analysis of alveolar lavage fluid specimens from 112 individuals with IPF and 20 healthy controls uncovered 90 differentially expressed genes associated with inflammation. On initial univariate Cox regression, 46 of the 90 differentially expressed genes were associated with poor prognosis in IPF, including 10 negative and 36 positive correlations.

To identify the most robust prognostic markers, the researchers selected the intersection of genes resulting from Lasso regression and random forest screening. This approach identified a set of 8 genes, which was further limited to a 4-gene model through multivariate stepwise Cox regression.

In addition, the researchers analyzed immune cell infiltration in low- and high-risk groups. The results showed that patients in the high-risk group had more myeloid-derived suppressor cells, macrophages, regulatory T cells, CD4+ T cells, neutrophils, and dendritic cells than patients in the low-risk group.


Yin YQ, Peng F, Situ HJ, et al. Construction of prediction model of inflammation related genes in idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis and its correlation with immune microenvironment. Front Immunol. 2022;13:1010345. doi:10.3389/fimmu.2022.1010345