Gene expression analysis identifies novel genes participating in early murine liver development and adult liver regeneration

Differentiation. 2006 Apr;74(4):167-73. doi: 10.1111/j.1432-0436.2006.00066.x.


Adult liver tissue regeneration may recapitulate molecular events of liver organogenesis. As gaps in our understanding of the fundamental processes that govern development and regeneration of the liver still exist, we studied gene expression in the developing liver at embryonic day 9.5 post coitum (E d9.5 p.c.). Microarray data from E d9.5 p.c. as well as previously published data from embryonic day 11.5 post coitum (E d11.5 p.c.) and embryonic day 13.5 post coitum (E d13.5 p.c.) were subjected to cluster analysis. This led to the identification of 130 genes which were characterized by continuous expression at all stages of liver development with peak expression of 44 genes at E d9.5 p.c. Five of these genes, previously not known to be associated with early liver development or with adult liver regeneration were selected for further analysis. The expression of the genes was studied by real-time polymerase chain reaction at 0, 2, 4, 6, 12, 24 and 48 hr after partial hepatectomy in the adult liver. Two of the genes, growth arrest protein 43 (GAP43) and paired-like homeodomain transcription factor 2 (Pitx2) were exclusively detected at 24 hr, whereas the genes Twist1, Midkine, and zinc finger protein of cerebellum 1 (Zic1) each showed a specific expression profile in the regenerating liver with peak expressions at 4, 24, and 6 hr, respectively. In summary, we were able to identify novel genes, that may act as regulators during liver formation as well as in the regeneration phase of adult liver. This information may contribute to the development of new targets for the treatment of liver diseases in the future.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cluster Analysis
  • Embryo, Mammalian / anatomy & histology
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Gene Expression Regulation*
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental
  • Hepatectomy
  • In Situ Hybridization
  • Liver / embryology*
  • Liver / metabolism*
  • Liver Regeneration / genetics*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Oligonucleotide Array Sequence Analysis