Journal Article

Diet-induced hepatocellular carcinoma in genetically predisposed mice

Annie E. Hill-Baskin, Maciej M. Markiewski, David A. Buchner, Haifeng Shao, David DeSantis, Gene Hsiao, Shankar Subramaniam, Nathan A. Berger, Colleen Croniger, John D. Lambris and Joseph H. Nadeau

in Human Molecular Genetics

Volume 18, issue 16, pages 2975-2988
Published in print August 2009 | ISSN: 0964-6906
Published online May 2009 | e-ISSN: 1460-2083 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/hmg/ddp236
Diet-induced hepatocellular carcinoma in genetically predisposed mice

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Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is one of the leading causes of cancer death worldwide, with ∼70% of cases resulting from hepatitis B and C viral infections, aflatoxin exposure, chronic alcohol use or genetic liver diseases. The remaining ∼30% of cases are associated with obesity, type 2 diabetes and related metabolic diseases, although a direct link between these pathologies and HCCs has not been established. We tested the long-term effects of high-fat and low-fat diets on males of two inbred strains of mice and discovered that C57BL/6J but not A/J males were susceptible to non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) and HCC on a high-fat but not low-fat diet. This strain–diet interaction represents an important model for genetically controlled, diet-induced HCC. Susceptible mice showed morphological characteristics of NASH (steatosis, hepatitis, fibrosis and cirrhosis), dysplasia and HCC. mRNA profiles of HCCs versus tumor-free liver showed involvement of two signaling networks, one centered on Myc and the other on NFκB, similar to signaling described for the two major classes of HCC in humans. miRNA profiles revealed dramatically increased expression of a cluster of miRNAs on the X chromosome without amplification of the chromosomal segment. A switch from high-fat to low-fat diet reversed these outcomes, with switched C57BL/6J males being lean rather than obese and without evidence for NASH or HCCs at the end of the study. A similar diet modification may have important implications for prevention of HCCs in humans.

Journal Article.  7452 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Genetics and Genomics

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