The development of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is generally preceded by cirrhosis, which occurs at the end stage of fibrosis. This is a common and potentially lethal problem of chronic liver disease in Asia. The development of microarrays permits us to monitor transcriptomes on a genome-wide scale; this has dramatically speeded up a comprehensive understanding of the disease process. Here we used dimethylnitrosamine (DMN), a nongenotoxic hepatotoxin, to induce rat necroinflammatory and hepatic fibrosis. During the 6-week time course, histopathological, biochemical, and quantitative RT-PCR analyses confirmed the incidence of necroinflammatory and hepatic fibrosis in this established rat model system. Using the Affymetrix microarray chip, 256 differentially expressed genes were identified from the liver injury samples. Hierarchical clustering of gene expression using a gene ontology database allowed the identification of several stage-specific characters and functionally related clusters that encode proteins related to metabolism, cell growth/maintenance, and response to external challenge. Among these genes, we classified 44 potential necroinflammatory-related genes and 62 potential fibrosis-related markers or drug targets based on histopathological scores. We also compared the results with other data on well-known markers and various other microarray datasets that are available. In conclusion, we believe that the molecular picture of necroinflammatory and hepatic fibrosis from this study may provide novel biological insights into the development of early liver damage molecular classifiers than can be used for basic research and in clinical applications. A public accessible website is available at http://LiverFibrosis. nchc.org.tw:8080/LF.
- Biochemical data
- Quantitative RT-PCR