Objective: We quantified cytochrome P-450 (CYP) 3A4 mRNA in the blood and liver of patients with viral liver diseases to determine whether CYP 3A4 expression is related to disease progression.
Design and methods: Total RNA was extracted from 10 mL of blood from 12 normal volunteers, from 6 patients with acute hepatitis, 17 with chronic hepatitis, 12 with liver cirrhosis, and 16 with hepatocellular carcinoma. Total RNA from 1 mg of liver tissue was extracted simultaneously in 10 patients. CYP 3A4 mRNA was quantified by competitive reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction and expressed as log copies/microliter.
Results: The CYP 3A4 mRNA titer in blood correlated with that of the liver (r = 0.65, P < 0.05). The CYP 3A4 mRNA titer was 1.6 +/- 0.4 in normal controls, 1.0 +/- 0.5 in acute hepatitis, 0.7 +/- 0.2 in chronic hepatitis, 0.5 +/- 0.2 in liver cirrhosis, 0.5 +/- 0.2 in hepatocellular carcinoma, and decreased with progression of liver disease (P < 0.05).
Conclusion: These data suggest that the CYP 3A4 mRNA level in blood relates to progression of liver disease.