Temporal expression profiles indicate a primary function for microRNA during the peak of DNA replication after rat partial hepatectomy

Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol. 2011 Jun;300(6):R1363-72. doi: 10.1152/ajpregu.00632.2010. Epub 2011 Mar 23.


The liver has the unique capacity to regenerate after surgical resection. However, the regulation of liver regeneration is not completely understood. Recent reports indicate an essential role for small noncoding microRNAs (miRNAs) in the regulation of hepatic development, carcinogenesis, and early regeneration. We hypothesized that miRNAs are critically involved in all phases of liver regeneration after partial hepatectomy. We performed miRNA microarray analyses after 70% partial hepatectomy in rats under isoflurane anesthesia at different time points (0 h to 5 days) and after sham laparotomy. Putative targets of differentially expressed miRNAs were determined using a bioinformatic approach. Two-dimensional (2D)-PAGE proteomic analyses and protein identification were performed on specimens at 0 and 24 h after resection. The temporal dynamics of liver regeneration were characterized by 5-bromo- 2-deoxyuridine, proliferating cell nuclear antigen, IL-6, and hepatocyte growth factor. We demonstrate that miRNA expression patterns changed during liver regeneration and that these changes were most evident during the peak of DNA replication at 24 h after resection. Expression of 13 miRNAs was significantly reduced 12-48 h after resection (>25% change), out of which downreguation was confirmed in isolated hepatocytes for 6 miRNAs at 24 h, whereas three miRNAs were significantly upregulated. Proteomic analysis revealed 65 upregulated proteins; among them, 23 represent putative targets of the differentially expressed miRNAs. We provide a temporal miRNA expression and proteomic dataset of the regenerating rat liver, which indicates a primary function for miRNA during the peak of DNA replication. These data will assist further functional studies on the role of miRNAs during liver regeneration.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Computational Biology
  • DNA Replication / physiology*
  • Hepatectomy*
  • Hepatocyte Growth Factor / physiology
  • Interleukin-6 / physiology
  • Liver / physiology
  • Liver / surgery*
  • Liver Regeneration / physiology*
  • Male
  • MicroRNAs / physiology*
  • Microarray Analysis*
  • Models, Animal
  • Proliferating Cell Nuclear Antigen / physiology
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Time Factors


  • Interleukin-6
  • MicroRNAs
  • Proliferating Cell Nuclear Antigen
  • Hepatocyte Growth Factor