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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Early alteration in TGF-beta mRNA expression in irradiated rat liver.

PURPOSE: Radiation of the liver results in hepatic fibrosis as a late complication. TGF-beta has been implicated in the pathogenesis of fibrosis. The purpose of this study was to determine if there is early alteration in TGF-beta expression before hepatic fibrosis is evident. METHODS AND MATERIALS: Male Sprague-Dawley rats weighing 150-175 g were used. A partial volume of liver as large as a 2 cm x 1 cm rectangle was given a single dose of 25 Gy gamma radiation. Animals were sequentially sacrificed from day 0 to day 28. Appearance of hepatic fibrosis was tested by trichrome stain. Levels of mRNA expression of TGF-beta1 and TGF-beta3 were measured by Northern blot hybridization. Change in the level of mRNA expression was analyzed by densitometry. The expression of TGF-betas was also analyzed in tissue with immunohistochemical staining. RESULTS: In trichrome-stained liver tissues obtained through 28 days after irradiation, there was no evidence of hepatic fibrosis. The expression of mRNAs of TGF-beta1 and TGF-beta3 showed different features; The level of TGF-beta1 mRNA showed a gradual increase to the peak level of 3.6-fold at day 28, the last analyzed time. In contrast, TGF-beta3 mRNA showed an early peak of 4.8-fold at day 7 followed by a decrease to the lowest level of 1.6-fold at the last analyzed time. The expression of TGF-betas was also analyzed in tissue with immunohistochemical staining. At day 28 after radiation, increased positive staining for TGF-beta1 was observed around the central vein. Positive staining appeared mainly in nonhepatocytic cells. For TGF-beta3, the same pattern of positive staining was observed at day 7. CONCLUSION: The results of this study suggest that the alteration in mRNA expression of TGF-beta1 and TGF-beta3 occurs very early after radiation. The contrasting difference in the mRNA expression pattern of TGF-beta1 and TGF-beta3 suggests that interaction of the TGF-betas may be involved in fibrogenesis of irradiated liver, with TGF-beta1 as a positive regulator and TGF-beta3 as a negative regulator.[1]


  1. Early alteration in TGF-beta mRNA expression in irradiated rat liver. Seong, J., Kim, S.H., Chung, E.J., Lee, W.J., Suh, C.O. Int. J. Radiat. Oncol. Biol. Phys. (2000) [Pubmed]
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