Transcriptional changes during hepatic ischemia-reperfusion in the rat

PLoS One. 2019 Dec 31;14(12):e0227038. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0227038. eCollection 2019.


There are few effective targeted strategies to reduce hepatic ischemia-reperfusion (IR) injury, a contributor to poor outcomes in liver transplantation recipients. It has been proposed that IR injury is driven by the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS). However, recent studies implicate other mediators of the injury response, including mitochondrial metabolic dysfunction. We examined changes in global gene expression after transient hepatic ischemia and at several early reperfusion times to identify potential targets that could be used to protect against IR injury. Male Wistar rats were subjected to 30 minutes of 70% partial warm ischemia followed by 0, 0.5, 2, or 6 hours of reperfusion. RNA was extracted from the reperfused and non-ischemic lobes at each time point for microarray analysis. Identification of differentially expressed genes and pathway analysis were used to characterize IR-induced changes in the hepatic transcriptome. Changes in the reperfused lobes were specific to the various reperfusion times. We made the unexpected observation that many of these changes were also present in tissue from the paired non-ischemic lobes. However, the earliest reperfusion time, 30 minutes, showed a marked increase in the expression of a set of immediate-early genes (c-Fos, c-Jun, Atf3, Egr1) that was exclusive to the reperfused lobe. We interpreted these results as indicating that this early response represented a tissue autonomous response to reperfusion. In contrast, the changes that occurred in both the reperfused and non-ischemic lobes were interpreted as indicating a non-autonomous response resulting from hemodynamic changes and/or circulating factors. These tissue autonomous and non-autonomous responses may serve as targets to ameliorate IR injury.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Humans
  • Liver / blood supply*
  • Liver / drug effects
  • Liver / pathology
  • Liver Transplantation / adverse effects*
  • Male
  • Oligonucleotide Array Sequence Analysis
  • Protective Agents / pharmacology
  • Protective Agents / therapeutic use
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Reperfusion / adverse effects
  • Reperfusion Injury / genetics*
  • Reperfusion Injury / pathology
  • Reperfusion Injury / prevention & control
  • Transcriptome / drug effects
  • Transcriptome / genetics*


  • Protective Agents