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Revista Española de Enfermedades Digestivas

Print version ISSN 1130-0108


CAYON, A.; CRESPO, J.; GUERRA, A. R.  and  PONS-ROMERO, F.. Gene expression in obese patients with non-alcoholic steatohepatitis. Rev. esp. enferm. dig. [online]. 2008, vol.100, n.4, pp.212-218. ISSN 1130-0108.

Although the molecular basis for the pathophysiology of non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) is poorly understood, we evaluate the hepatic gene expression of cytokines, chemokines, cell receptors, growth factors, intracellular transducers and extracellular communication proteins in liver tissue of obese patients (with and without NASH), and we determine the specific intrahepatic gene expression profiles associated with histological severe NASH. Thirty-eight obese patients with BMI > 35 were analyzed, who underwent bariatric surgery. Biopsy specimen samples were snap-frozen in liquid nitrogen. Hepatic gene expression was determined in liver biopsy specimens from 3 groups: a) obese patients without NASH (n = 12); b) patients with NASH without fibrosis (n = 13); and c) patients with NASH and fibrosis (n = 13). Genes were considered to be expressed differentially in NASH only if there was a greater than 2-fold difference in abundance of mRNA when compared with each of the control group. These results were confirmed by real-time PCR. Fourteen genes were differentially expressed (10 overexpressed and 4 underexpressed) in patients with NASH. Genes that were significantly overexpressed included prohibitin, TNF, TNF RI (p55), MCSF, R2-TRAIL, b1-CTGF, FGF, VEGF, and BIGH3OBR. Insulin growth factor-1, insulin growth factor-2, interleukin-2 and tyrosine-receptor were underexpressed in NASH patients. In conclusion: 1. The obese patients with NASH without fibrosis show an overexpression of proinflammatory and proapoptotic genes. Also, the NASH patients with fibrosis show an overexpression of fibrogenic genes, including the leptin receptor Ob-Rb. 2. The up-regulated gene expression of prohibitin suggests mitochondrial dysfunction in NASH patients.

Keywords : Non-alcoholic steatohepatitis; Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease; Morbid obesity.

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