Hepatocellular carcinoma in non-alcoholic steatohepatitis: Growing evidence of an epidemic?
ABSTRACT The incidence of hepatocellular carcinoma in non-viral-related chronic liver disease has gradually increased in Japan. Obesity and diabetes mellitus type 2 have been established as a significant risk factor for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) by epidemiologic observations and experimental studies. The risks of these factors for HCC are likely conferred by two factors: the increased risk for development of non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) and the carcinogenic potential of themselves. Hepatocellular carcinoma in NASH is difficult to evaluate because histological diagnosis is required for diagnosis of NASH, which can lead selection bias. Furthermore, end-stage NASH is in effect "burned-out" NASH, for which the diagnosis of NASH cannot be made any more. At all events, previous studies on the etiology of Japanese HCC showed that non-alcoholic fatty liver disease accounts for 1-5% of all HCC (male predominant, median age 72 years). They have high prevalences of obesity and/or diabetes mellitus type 2 and 10-75% of the HCC arose from non-cirrhotic livers. HCC in NASH may be of multicentric origin, similar to HCC based on viral hepatitis. Regular screening for HCC is extremely important especially in cirrhotic NASH patients and recurrence should be warned. In western and Asian countries, the prevalence of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease in the general population is increasing dramatically. Therefore, there is an urgent need to elucidate pathogenesis and clinical features of HCC in NASH. In this review we summarize current concepts for HCC in NASH.
Article: Low-dose Cd induces hepatic gene hypermethylation, along with the persistent reduction of cell death and increase of cell proliferation in rats and mice.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Cadmium (Cd) is classified as a human carcinogen probably associated with epigenetic changes. DNA methylation is one of epigenetic mechanisms by which cells control gene expression. Therefore, the present study genome-widely screened the methylation-altered genes in the liver of rats previously exposed to low-dose Cd. METHODOLOGY PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Rats were exposed to Cd at 20 nmol/kg every other day for 4 weeks and gene methylation was analyzed at the 48(th) week with methylated DNA immunoprecipitation-CpG island microarray. Among the 1629 altered genes, there were 675 genes whose promoter CpG islands (CGIs) were hypermethylated, 899 genes whose promoter CGIs were hypomethylated, and 55 genes whose promoter CGIs were mixed with hyper- and hypo-methylation. Caspase-8 gene promoter CGIs and TNF gene promoter CGIs were hypermethylated and hypomethylated, respectively, along with a low apoptosis rate in Cd-treated rat livers. To link the aberrant methylation of caspase-8 and TNF genes to the low apoptosis induced by low-dose Cd, mice were given chronic exposure to low-dose Cd with and without methylation inhibitor (5-aza-2'-deoxyctidene, 5-aza). At the 48(th) week after Cd exposure, livers from Cd-treated mice displayed the increased caspase-8 CGI methylation and decreased caspase-8 protein expression, along with significant increases in cell proliferation and overexpression of TGF-β1 and cytokeratin 8/18 (the latter is a new marker of mouse liver preneoplastic lesions), all which were prevented by 5-aza treatment. CONCLUSION/SIGNIFICANCE: These results suggest that Cd-induced global gene hypermethylation, most likely caspase-8 gene promoter hypermethylation that down-regulated its expression, leading to the decreased hepatic apoptosis and increased preneoplastic lesions.PLoS ONE 01/2012; 7(3):e33853. · 4.09 Impact Factor