02348: Whole Blood Transcriptome Profiling of Dogs with Immune-Mediated Hemolytic Anemia (IMHA)

Grant Status: Closed

Grant Amount: $53,471
Steven G Friedenberg, DVM, PhD; University of Minnesota
April 1, 2018 - March 31, 2021

Sponsor(s): American Boxer Charitable Foundation, American Brittany Club, English Cocker Spaniel Club of America Health and Rescue Organization, Tibetan Terrier Health and Welfare Foundation

Breed(s): -All Dogs
Research Program Area: Blood Disorders
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Immune-mediated hemolytic anemia, or IMHA, is a common autoimmune disease in dogs in which the body's immune system attacks its own red blood cells. Red blood cells are critical for transporting oxygen. Many dogs affected by IMHA require extensive hospitalization and blood transfusions, and often have fatal disease-related complications. While dogs of every breed can get IMHA, many spaniel breeds are overrepresented. Despite its high morbidity and mortality, IMHA and its triggers are still not well understood, which hinders the potential to develop treatments and stop this disease in its early stages. In this study, the investigators will use RNA sequencing to evaluate the genes that are active in the blood of dogs who have been newly diagnosed with IMHA. Comparing this data with that of healthy dogs without IMHA will allow the investigators to determine which genes are turned on in the early stages of IMHA. Additionally, this data may have future use in determining if any specific genetic changes are associated with activating these early onset genes. The investigators hope to identify genes which might be novel therapeutic targets for intervention in IMHA and identifying specific variants in these genes may improve understanding of which dogs are at risk for developing IMHA.


Borchert, C., Herman, A., Roth, M., Brooks, A. C., & Friedenberg, S. G. (2020). RNA sequencing of whole blood in dogs with primary immune-mediated hemolytic anemia (IMHA) reveals novel insights into disease pathogenesis. PLOS ONE, 15(10), e0240975. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0240975

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