Gene expression profile change and associated physiological and pathological effects in mouse liver induced by fasting and refeeding

PLoS One. 2011;6(11):e27553. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0027553. Epub 2011 Nov 9.


Food availability regulates basal metabolism and progression of many diseases, and liver plays an important role in these processes. The effects of food availability on digital gene expression profile, physiological and pathological functions in liver are yet to be further elucidated. In this study, we applied high-throughput sequencing technology to detect digital gene expression profile of mouse liver in fed, fasted and refed states. Totally 12162 genes were detected, and 2305 genes were significantly regulated by food availability. Biological process and pathway analysis showed that fasting mainly affected lipid and carboxylic acid metabolic processes in liver. Moreover, the genes regulated by fasting and refeeding in liver were mainly enriched in lipid metabolic process or fatty acid metabolism. Network analysis demonstrated that fasting mainly regulated Drug Metabolism, Small Molecule Biochemistry and Endocrine System Development and Function, and the networks including Lipid Metabolism, Small Molecule Biochemistry and Gene Expression were affected by refeeding. In addition, FunDo analysis showed that liver cancer and diabetes mellitus were most likely to be affected by food availability. This study provides the digital gene expression profile of mouse liver regulated by food availability, and demonstrates the main biological processes, pathways, gene networks and potential hepatic diseases regulated by fasting and refeeding. These results show that food availability mainly regulates hepatic lipid metabolism and is highly correlated with liver-related diseases including liver cancer and diabetes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Fasting / physiology*
  • Gene Expression Profiling / methods*
  • Gene Expression Regulation / physiology
  • Liver / metabolism*
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL