Global gene expression profile of normal and regenerating liver in young and old mice

Monica Pibiri, Pia Sulas, Vera Piera Leoni, Andrea Perra, Marta Anna Kowalik, Angela Cordella, Pasquale Saggese, Giovanni Nassa, Maria Ravo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The ability of the liver to regenerate and adjust its size after two/third partial hepatectomy (PH) is impaired in old rodents and humans. Here, we investigated by microarray analysis the expression pattern of hepatic genes in young and old untreated mice and the differences in gene expression profile following PH. Of the 10,237 messenger RNAs that had detectable expression, only 108 displayed a greater than 2-fold modification in gene expression levels between the two groups. These genes were involved in inflammatory and immune response, xenobiotics, and lipid and glucose metabolism. To identify the genes responsible for the different regenerative response, 10-week and 18-month-old mice subjected to PH were sacrificed at different time intervals after surgery. The results showed that 2463 transcripts had significantly different expression post PH between the two groups. However, in spite of impaired liver regeneration in old mice, cell cycle genes were similarly modified in both groups, the only exception being cyclin D1 gene which was up-regulated soon after PH in young mice, but mostly down-regulated in aged animals. Surprisingly, while in young hepatectomized mice, Yap messenger RNA (mRNA) expression was not significantly enhanced and protein expression essentially reflected the progression into cell cycle, its mRNA and protein levels were robustly increased in the liver of aged animals. Furthermore, a significant change of the age-related expression of the size regulator Yes-associated protein (YAP) was observed. Unexpectedly, while in young hepatectomized mice, Yap mRNA expression was not significantly enhanced and protein expression essentially reflected the progression into cell cycle, its mRNA and protein levels were robustly increased in the liver of aged animals. Moreover, when PH was performed on mitogen-induced enlarged livers, the earlier restoration of the original liver mass compared to animals subjected to PH only led to YAP down-regulation concomitantly with cyclin D1 up-regulation. Our data suggest that YAP activation is a size-dependent homeostatic mechanism that does not necessarily reflect cell cycle progression.

Original languageEnglish
Article number59
JournalAge
Volume37
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 5 2015

Keywords

  • Cyclin D1
  • Liver
  • Microarray
  • YAP

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ageing
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology

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