The transcriptome is highly dynamic and sensitive to environmental conditions, and RNA profiling enables real-time profiling of the RNAs expressed at the time of sample collection. From RNA profiling, information on which biological pathways are active may be deduced by measuring the amount of RNAs corresponding to genes or regulatory RNAs known to be involved in the pathways. RNA sequencing is a powerful technology that is highly sensitive and provides realtime information about the systems and cellular signaling affecting the transplant beyond just the immune system.
This can be invaluable to physicians during their management of patients undergoing kidney transplantation. For example, performing RNA profiling of a patient prior to kidney transplantation may provide insights on the tendency for a patient’s immune system to attack a graft and help guide immunosuppressant therapy dose levels and other related decisions. Profiling of a patient following a kidney transplant may offer realtime insights into their biological responses and signs of damage, such as inflammation, which gives clinicians actionable data to guide their patient’s treatment plan! Importantly, RNA profiling may serve as a more sensitive method of detecting damage that would have gone undetected otherwise and is important for both short- and long-term damage assessments. It is expected that RNA profiling of patients throughout their kidney transplant journey will provide important information that supports successful outcomes.