Transcriptome Profiles Using Next-Generation Sequencing Reveal Liver Changes in the Early Stage of Diabetes in Tree Shrew (Tupaia belangeri chinensis)

J Diabetes Res. 2016;2016:6238526. doi: 10.1155/2016/6238526. Epub 2016 Mar 16.


Determining the liver changes during the early stages of diabetes is critical to understand the nature of the disease and development of novel treatments for it. Advances in the use of animal models and next-generation sequencing technologies offer a powerful tool in connection between liver changes and the diabetes. Here, we created a tree shrew diabetes model akin to type 1 diabetes by using streptozotocin to induce hyperglycemia and hyperlipidemia. Using RNA-seq, we compiled liver transcriptome profiles to determine the differentially expressed genes and to explore the role of hyperglycemia in liver changes. Our results, respectively, identified 14,060 and 14,335 genes in healthy tree shrews and those with diabetes, with 70 genes differentially expressed between the two groups. Gene orthology and KEGG annotation revealed that several of the main biological processes of these genes were related to translational processes, steroid metabolic processes, oxidative stress, inflammation, and hypertension, all of which are highly associated with diabetes and its complications. These results collectively suggest that STZ induces hyperglycemia in tree shrew and that hyperglycemia induced oxidative stress led to high expression of aldose reductase, inflammation, and even cell death in liver tissues during the early stage of diabetes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Experimental / blood
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Experimental / genetics*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Experimental / pathology
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / blood
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / genetics*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / pathology
  • Disease Progression
  • Gene Expression Profiling / methods*
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • High-Throughput Nucleotide Sequencing*
  • Liver / metabolism*
  • Liver / pathology
  • Male
  • Time Factors
  • Tupaiidae / genetics*
  • Tupaiidae / metabolism


  • Blood Glucose