Plasma MicroRNA Profiles in Rat Models of Hepatocellular Injury, Cholestasis, and Steatosis

Drug Metabolism and Toxicology, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Kanazawa University, Kakuma-machi, Kanazawa, Japan.
PLoS ONE (Impact Factor: 3.23). 02/2012; 7(2):e30250. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0030250
Source: PubMed


MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small RNA molecules that function to modulate the expression of target genes, playing important roles in a wide range of physiological and pathological processes. The miRNAs in body fluids have received considerable attention as potential biomarkers of various diseases. In this study, we compared the changes of the plasma miRNA expressions by acute liver injury (hepatocellular injury or cholestasis) and chronic liver injury (steatosis, steatohepatitis and fibrosis) using rat models made by the administration of chemicals or special diets. Using miRNA array analysis, we found that the levels of a large number of miRNAs (121-317 miRNAs) were increased over 2-fold and the levels of a small number of miRNAs (6-35 miRNAs) were decreased below 0.5-fold in all models except in a model of cholestasis caused by bile duct ligation. Interestingly, the expression profiles were different between the models, and the hierarchical clustering analysis discriminated between the acute and chronic liver injuries. In addition, miRNAs whose expressions were typically changed in each type of liver injury could be specified. It is notable that, in acute liver injury models, the plasma level of miR-122, the most abundant miRNA in the liver, was more quickly and dramatically increased than the plasma aminotransferase level, reflecting the extent of hepatocellular injury. This study demonstrated that the plasma miRNA profiles could reflect the types of liver injury (e.g. acute/chronic liver injury or hepatocellular injury/cholestasis/steatosis/steatohepatitis/fibrosis) and identified the miRNAs that could be specific and sensitive biomarkers of liver injury.

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    • "Recently miRNAs have been detected in extracellular environment mainly in different bio-fluids and their spectra could reflect altered physiological and pathological conditions [17], [25], [38], [39], [40], [41]. To our knowledge, this study is the first report on the presence of extra-cellular miRNAs in bovine follicular fluid, which may differ in its composition depending on the growth status of the oocytes. "
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    ABSTRACT: Cell-cell communication within the follicle involves many signaling molecules, and this process may be mediated by secretion and uptake of exosomes that contain several bioactive molecules including extra-cellular miRNAs. Follicular fluid and cells from individual follicles of cattle were grouped based on Brilliant Cresyl Blue (BCB) staining of the corresponding oocytes. Both Exoquick precipitation and differential ultracentrifugation were used to separate the exosome and non-exosomal fraction of follicular fluid. Following miRNA isolation from both fractions, the human miRCURY LNA™ Universal RT miRNA PCR array system was used to profile miRNA expression. This analysis found that miRNAs were present in both exosomal and non-exosomal fraction of bovine follicular fluid. We found 25 miRNAs differentially expressed (16 up and 9 down) in exosomes and 30 miRNAs differentially expressed (21 up and 9 down) in non-exosomal fraction of follicular fluid in comparison of BCB- versus BCB+ oocyte groups. Expression of selected miRNAs was detected in theca, granulosa and cumulus oocyte complex. To further explore the potential roles of these follicular fluid derived extra-cellular miRNAs, the potential target genes were predicted, and functional annotation and pathway analysis revealed most of these pathways are known regulators of follicular development and oocyte growth. In order to validate exosome mediated cell-cell communication within follicular microenvironment, we demonstrated uptake of exosomes and resulting increase of endogenous miRNA level and subsequent alteration of mRNA levels in follicular cells in vitro. This study demonstrates for the first time, the presence of exosome or non-exosome mediated transfer of miRNA in the bovine follicular fluid, and oocyte growth dependent variation in extra-cellular miRNA signatures in the follicular environment.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2013 · PLoS ONE
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    • "The formalin fixed liver samples were embedded in paraffin and sectioned, and then stained with hematoxylin and eosin for observation under a light microscope (Olympus IX71, Japan), as the method previously described [23]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Mitochondrial impairment is hypothesized to contribute to the pathogenesis of chronic cholestatic liver diseases. Mitofusin 2 (Mfn2) regulates mitochondrial morphology and signaling and is involved in the development of numerous mitochondrial-related diseases; however, a functional role for Mfn2 in chronic liver cholestasis which is characterized by increased levels of toxic bile acids remain unknown. Therefore, the aims of this study were to evaluate the expression levels of Mfn2 in liver samples from patients with extrahepatic cholestasis and to investigate the role Mfn2 during bile acid induced injury in vitro. Endogenous Mfn2 expression decreased in patients with extrahepatic cholestasis. Glycochenodeoxycholic acid (GCDCA) is the main toxic component of bile acid in patients with extrahepatic cholestasis. In human normal hepatocyte cells (L02), Mfn2 plays an important role in GCDCA-induced mitochondrial damage and changes in mitochondrial morphology. In line with the mitochondrial dysfunction, the expression of Mfn2 decreased significantly under GCDCA treatment conditions. Moreover, the overexpression of Mfn2 effectively attenuated mitochondrial fragmentation and reversed the mitochondrial damage observed in GCDCA-treated L02 cells. Notably, a truncated Mfn2 mutant that lacked the normal C-terminal domain lost the capacity to induce mitochondrial fusion. Increasing the expression of truncated Mfn2 also had a protective effect against the hepatotoxicity of GCDCA. Taken together, these findings indicate that the loss of Mfn2 may play a crucial role the pathogenesis of the liver damage that is observed in patients with extrahepatic cholestasis. The findings also indicate that Mfn2 may directly regulate mitochondrial metabolism independently of its primary fusion function. Therapeutic approaches that target Mfn2 may have protective effects against hepatotoxic of bile acids during cholestasis.
    Preview · Article · Jun 2013 · PLoS ONE
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    • "miR-122 is the most abundant miRNA in the liver, where it regulates fat metabolism and the replication of HCV in hepatocytes and contributes to carcinogenesis [16,17]. miR-122 has been used as a novel biomarker for liver damage in rat models of hepatocellular injury caused by a methionine- and choline-deficient diet (MCDD), CCl4 or acetaminophen and bile duct ligation [18]. We previously reported that miR-29b regulates collagen expression by binding to the 3′-UTR of the type 1 collagen alpha 1 chain (Col1a1) and SP1 mRNAs [19], and miR-29b directly inhibits the activation of mouse stellate cells in primary culture [20]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background miRNAs are non-coding RNAs that regulate gene expression in a wide range of biological contexts, including a variety of diseases. The present study clarified the role of miR-214-5p in hepatic fibrogenesis using human clinical tissue samples, livers from rodent models, and cultured hepatic stellate cells. Methods The expression of miR-214-5p and genes that are involved in liver fibrosis were analyzed in hepatitis C virus-infected human livers, rodent fibrotic livers, a human stellate cell line (LX-2), and the cells from intact mouse livers using real-time PCR. The effect of miR-214-5p overexpression in LX-2 cells on cell function was investigated. Twist-1 expression in the liver tissues of mouse models and primary-cultured stellate cells was also analyzed. Results miR-214-5p was upregulated in human and mouse livers in a fibrosis progression–dependent manner. miR-214-5p expression increased during the culture-dependent activation of mouse primary stellate cells and was significantly higher in stellate cells than in hepatocytes. The overexpression of miR-214-5p in LX-2 cells increased the expression of fibrosis-related genes, such as matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-2, MMP-9, α-smooth muscle actin, and transforming growth factor (TGF)-β1. TGF-β stimulation induced miR-214-5p in LX-2 cells. Twist-1 was increased in fibrotic mouse livers and induced during mouse stellate cell activation. Conclusion miR-214-5p may play crucial roles in the activation of stellate cells and the progression of liver fibrosis. Twist-1 may regulate miR-214-5p expression in the liver, particularly in stellate cells.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2012 · Fibrogenesis & Tissue Repair
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