Non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) is associated with liver fibrosis and cirrhosis, which eventually leads to hepatocellular carcinoma. Although several animal models were developed to understand the mechanisms of NASH pathogenesis and progression, it remains obscure. A 3D organoid culture system can recapitulate organ structures and maintain gene expression profiles of original tissues. We therefore tried to generate liver organoids from different degrees [defined as mild (NASH A), moderate (NASH B) and severe (NASH C)] of methionine- and choline-deficient diet-induced NASH model mice and analyzed the difference of their architecture, cell components, organoid-forming efficacy, and gene expression profiles. Organoids from each stage of NASH model mice were successfully generated. Interestingly, epithelial-mesenchymal transition was observed in NASH C organoids. Expression of Collagen I and an activated hepatic stellite cell marker, α-sma was upregulated in the liver organoids from NASH B and C mice. The analysis of RNA sequencing revealed that several novel genes were upregulated in all NASH liver organoids. These results suggest that our generated liver organoids from different stages of NASH diseased mice might become a useful tool for in vitro studies of the molecular mechanism of NASH development and also for identifying novel biomarkers for early diagnosis of NASH disease.
Keywords: Biomarker; Liver organoid; NASH; RNA seq, EMT, Liver fibrosis.
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