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Monday, July 23, 2012

Chronic Ethanol Feeding Alters miRNA Expression Dynamics During Liver Regeneration

Adaptation to chronic ethanol (EtOH) treatment of rats results in a changed functional state of the liver and greatly inhibits its regenerative ability, which may contribute to the progression of alcoholic liver disease.

In this study, we investigated the effect of chronic EtOH intake on hepatic microRNA (miRNA) expression in male Sprague–Dawley rats during the initial 24 hours of liver regeneration following 70% partial hepatectomy (PHx) using miRNA microarrays. miRNA expression during adaptation to EtOH was investigated using RT-qPCR. Nuclear factor kappa B (NFκB) binding at target miRNA promoters was investigated with chromatin immunoprecipitation.

Unsupervised clustering of miRNA expression profiles suggested that miRNA expression was more affected by chronic EtOH feeding than by the acute challenge of liver regeneration after PHx. Several miRNAs that were significantly altered by chronic EtOH feeding, including miR-34a, miR-103, miR-107, and miR-122 have been reported to play a role in regulating hepatic metabolism and the onset of these miRNA changes occurred gradually during the time course of EtOH feeding. Chronic EtOH feeding also altered the dynamic miRNA profile during liver regeneration. Promoter analysis predicted a role for NFκB in the immediate-early miRNA response to PHx. NFκB binding at target miRNA promoters in the chronic EtOH-fed group was significantly altered and these changes directly correlated with the observed expression dynamics of the target miRNA.

Chronic EtOH consumption alters the hepatic miRNA expression profile such that the response of the metabolism-associated miRNAs occurs during long-term adaptation to EtOH rather than as an acute transient response to EtOH metabolism. Additionally, the dynamic miRNA program during liver regeneration in response to PHx is altered in the chronically EtOH-fed liver and these differences reflect, in part, differences in miRNA expression between the EtOH-adapted and control livers at the baseline state prior to PHx.

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