Article

Exploration of global gene expression in human liver steatosis by high-density oligonucleotide microarray.

Inserm 602, Service de Biochimie et Biologie Moléculaire, Hôpital Universitaire Paul Brousse, Université Paris XI, Villejuif Cedex, France.
Laboratory Investigation (Impact Factor: 3.83). 03/2006; 86(2):154-65. DOI: 10.1038/labinvest.3700374
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Understanding the molecular mechanisms underlying fatty liver disease (FLD) in humans is of major importance. We used high-density oligonucleotide microarrays (22.3 K) to assess the mechanisms responsible for the development of human liver steatosis. We compared global gene expression in normal (n=9) and steatotic (n=9) livers without histological signs of inflammation or fibrosis. A total of 34 additional human samples including normal (n=11), steatosis (n=11), HCV-related steatosis (n=4) or steatohepatitis associated with alcohol consumption (n=4) or obesity (n=4) were used for immunohistochemistry or quantitative real-time PCR studies. With unsupervised classification (no gene selection), all steatotic liver samples clustered together. Using step-down maxT multiple testing procedure for controlling the Family-Wise Error-Rate at level 5%, 110 cDNAs (100 over- and 10 underexpressed) were found to be differentially expressed in steatotic and normal livers. Of them were genes involved in mitochondrial phosphorylative and oxidative metabolism. The mean ratio of mitochondrial DNA to nuclear DNA content was higher in liver steatosis compared to normal liver biopsies (1.12+/-0.14 vs 0.67+/-0.10; P=0.01). An increased expression of genes involved in inflammation (IL-1R family, TGFB) was also observed and confirmed by quantitative RT-PCR or immunochemistry. In steatohepatitis, an increase of the protein expression of mitochondrial antigens, IL-1R1, IGF2 and TGFB1 was also observed, interleukin 1 receptor being always strongly expressed in steatohepatitis linked to alcohol or obesity. In conclusion, mitochondrial alterations play a major role in the development of steatosis per se. Activation of inflammatory pathways is present at a very early stage of steatosis, even if no morphological sign of inflammation is observed.

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