Apolipoprotein A-IV mRNA overexpression in early preneoplastic hepatic foci induced by low-number pancreatic islet transplants in streptozotocin-diabetic rats

Pathol Res Pract. 2003;199(6):373-9. doi: 10.1078/0344-0338-00433.


After low-number transplantation of islets of Langerhans into the liver of streptozotocin-diabetic rats, the hepatocytes in the acini, draining the blood from the islets, are exposed to a local hyperinsulinemia, whereas the remaining tissue is affected by hypoinsulinemia. In this model, insulin induces alterations that resemble preneoplastic foci of altered hepatocytes (FAH) and develop into hepatocellular tumors in later stages of carcinogenesis. In rodents, apolipoprotein A-IV (A-IV) is synthesized in the small intestine and the liver. Whereas intestinal production is mainly influenced by lipid intake and chylomicrone formation, little is known about mechanisms regulating hepatic A-IV synthesis. As it is known that insulin modulates lipoprotein metabolism in different ways, we investigated the effect of insulin on hepatocytic A-IV mRNA expression in this model. After Laser microdissection of FAH and quantitative RT-PCR (LightCycler), we found a 3.2 to 7.4-fold increase of A-IV mRNA in the FAH. To the best of our knowledge, these results represent the first data of insulin-stimulated A-IV mRNA overexpression in rat hepatocytes in vivo, and are in line with previously reported results of experiments with cultured hepatocytes. It remains to be elucidated whether A-IV mRNA overexpression is only an epiphenomenon of insulin action or is relevant for hepatocarcinogenesis in this model.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Apolipoproteins A / genetics*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Experimental / genetics*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Experimental / surgery
  • Dissection / methods
  • Hepatocytes / physiology
  • Islets of Langerhans Transplantation / pathology*
  • Lasers
  • Liver Neoplasms, Experimental / etiology
  • Liver Neoplasms, Experimental / genetics*
  • Liver Neoplasms, Experimental / pathology
  • Male
  • Precancerous Conditions / etiology
  • Precancerous Conditions / genetics*
  • Precancerous Conditions / pathology
  • RNA, Messenger / analysis
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred Lew
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction


  • Apolipoproteins A
  • RNA, Messenger
  • apolipoprotein A-IV