Plasma microRNAs are sensitive indicators of inter-strain differences in the severity of liver injury induced in mice by a choline- and folate-deficient diet

Division of Biochemical Toxicology, National Center for Toxicological Research, Jefferson, AR 72079, USA.
Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology (Impact Factor: 3.71). 04/2012; 262(1):52-9. DOI: 10.1016/j.taap.2012.04.018
Source: PubMed


MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are a class of small, conserved, tissue-specific regulatory non-coding RNAs that modulate a variety of biological processes and play a fundamental role in the pathogenesis of major human diseases, including nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). However, the association between inter-individual differences in susceptibility to NAFLD and altered miRNA expression is largely unknown. In view of this, the goals of the present study were (i) to determine whether or not individual differences in the extent of NAFLD-induced liver injury are associated with altered miRNA expression, and (ii) assess if circulating blood miRNAs may be used as potential biomarkers for the noninvasive evaluation of the severity of NAFLD. A panel of seven genetically diverse strains of inbred male mice (A/J, C57BL/6J, C3H/HeJ, 129S/SvImJ, CAST/EiJ, PWK/PhJ, and WSB/EiJ) were fed a choline- and folate-deficient (CFD) diet for 12weeks. This diet induced liver injury in all mouse strains; however, the extent of NAFLD-associated pathomorphological changes in the livers was strain-specific, with A/J, C57BL/6J, and C3H/HeJ mice being the least sensitive and WSB/EiJ mice being the most sensitive. The morphological changes in the livers were accompanied by differences in the levels of hepatic and plasma miRNAs. The levels of circulating miR-34a, miR-122, miR-181a, miR-192, and miR-200b miRNAs were significantly correlated with a severity of NAFLD-specific liver pathomorphological features, with the strongest correlation occurring with miR-34a. These observations suggest that the plasma levels of miRNAs may be used as biomarkers for noninvasive monitoring the extent of NAFLD-associated liver injury and susceptibility to NAFLD.

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Available from: John R Latendresse, Aug 25, 2014
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    • "Total RNA was isolated from undifferentiated mESCs, HLCs, mouse foetal liver (FL) cells from embryonic day (E) 11.5 and E13.5, and from mouse mature hepatocytes (MHs) (3 and 24 weeks old). ESC, HLC, FL, and MH cells were all obtained from Rosa26 mice to avoid differential miRNA expression profiles that may arise due to different mouse strains [23]. miRNA profiling was performed by the Comprehensive biomarker center, Cbc, DKFZ Heidelberg, Germany. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background & aims: Current hepatic differentiation protocols for human embryonic stem cells (ESCs) require substantial improvements. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) have been reported to regulate hepatocyte cell fate during liver development, but their utility to improve hepatocyte differentiation from ESCs remains to be investigated. Therefore, our aim was to identify and to analyse hepatogenic miRNAs for their potential to improve hepatocyte differentiation from ESCs. Methods: By miRNA profiling and in vitro screening, we identified miR-199a-5p among several potential hepatogenic miRNAs. Transplantation studies of miR-199a-5p-inhibited hepatocyte-like cells (HLCs) in the liver of immunodeficient fumarylacetoacetate hydrolase knockout mice (Fah(-/-)/Rag2(-/-)/Il2rg(-/-)) were performed to assess their in vivo liver repopulation potential. For target determination, western blot and luciferase reporter assay were carried out. Results: miRNA profiling revealed 20 conserved candidate hepatogenic miRNAs. By miRNA screening, only miR-199a-5p inhibition in HLCs was found to be able to enhance the in vitro hepatic differentiation of mouse as well as human ESCs. miR-199a-5p inhibition in human ESCs-derived HLCs enhanced their engraftment and repopulation capacity in the liver of Fah(-/-)/Rag2(-/-)/Il2rg(-/-) mice. Furthermore, we identified SMARCA4 and MST1 as novel targets of miR-199a-5p that may contribute to the improved hepatocyte generation and in vivo liver repopulation. Conclusions: Our findings demonstrate that miR-199a-5p inhibition in ES-derived HLCs leads to improved hepatocyte differentiation. Upon transplantation, HLCs were able to engraft and repopulate the liver of Fah(-/-)/Rag2(-/-)/Il2rg(-/-) mice. Thus, our findings suggest that miRNA modulation may serve as a promising approach to generate more mature HLCs from stem cell sources for the treatment of liver diseases.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2014 · Journal of Hepatology
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    • "Finally the strain of rodent may impact severity of the phenotype. Both Pogribny and Tryndyak et al. have shown that the strain of animal also influences the severity of the development of NAFLD [9,39]. Thus, it is imperative that experimental design and choice of animal model be taken into consideration when investigating and interpreting the effects of folate on lipid metabolism. "
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    ABSTRACT: Folate is an essential B vitamin required for the maintenance of AdoMet-dependent methylation. The liver is responsible for many methylation reactions that are used for post-translational modification of proteins, methylation of DNA, and the synthesis of hormones, creatine, carnitine, and phosphatidylcholine. Conditions where methylation capacity is compromised, including folate deficiency, are associated with impaired phosphatidylcholine synthesis resulting in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and steatohepatitis. In addition, folate intake and folate status have been associated with changes in the expression of genes involved in lipid metabolism, obesity, and metabolic syndrome. In this review, we provide insight on the relationship between folate and lipid metabolism, and an outlook for the future of lipid-related folate research. © 2013 BioFactors, 2013.
    Full-text · Article · May 2014 · BioFactors
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    • "In particular, its serum levels correlated with serum lipids, fibrosis stage, and inflammation activity [31], and similar results were found in mouse models of diet-induced NAFLD [45]. The link between miR-122 and the grade of liver steatosis was further strengthened by a recent study undertaken in a cohort of NAFLD patients, in which the authors found a positive correlation between miR-122 serum levels and the severity of steatosis, concluding that miR-122 may be a useful biomarker for NAFLD progression. "
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    ABSTRACT: Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is a metabolic-related disorder ranging from steatosis to steatohepatitis, which may progress to cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). The influence of NAFLD on HCC development has drawn attention in recent years. HCC is one of the most common malignant tumors and the third highest cause of cancer-related death. HCC is frequently diagnosed late in the disease course, and patient's prognosis is usually poor. Early diagnosis and identification of the correct stage of liver damage during NAFLD progression can contribute to more effective therapeutic interventions, improving patient outcomes. Therefore, scientists are always searching for new sensitive and reliable markers that could be analysed through minimally invasive tests. MicroRNAs are short noncoding RNAs that act as posttranscriptional regulators of gene expression. Several studies identified specific miRNA expression profiles associated to different histological features of NAFLD. Thus, miRNAs are receiving growing attention as useful noninvasive diagnostic markers to follow the progression of NAFLD and to identify novel therapeutic targets. This review focuses on the current knowledge of the miRNAs involved in NAFLD and related HCC development, highlighting their diagnostic and prognostic value for the screening of NAFLD patients.
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2014
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