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Hepatology. 2005 Sep;42(3):665-74.

A genomic and proteomic study of the spectrum of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.

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Center for Liver Diseases, Inova Fairfax Hospital, Falls Church, VA 22042, USA.


Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is the most common chronic liver disease, and some of its forms are progressive. This study describes the profiling of hepatic gene expression and serum protein content in patients with different subtypes of NAFLD. Liver biopsy specimens from 98 bariatric surgery patients were classified as normal, steatosis alone, steatosis with nonspecific inflammation, and nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). Microarray hybridizations were performed in triplicate and the microarray expression levels of a selected group of genes were confirmed using real-time quantitative reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction. Serum protein profiles of the same patients were determined by SELDI-TOF mass spectrometry. Of 98 obese patients, 91 were diagnosed with NAFLD (12 steatosis alone, 52 steatosis with nonspecific inflammation, and 27 NASH), and 7 patients without NAFLD served as obese controls. Each group of NAFLD patients was compared with the obese controls, and 22 genes with more than twofold differences in expression levels were revealed. Proteomics analyses were performed for the same group comparisons and revealed twelve significantly different protein peaks. In conclusion, this genomic/proteomic analysis suggests differential expression of several genes and protein peaks in patients within and across the forms of NAFLD. These findings may help clarify the pathogenesis of NAFLD and identify potential targets for therapeutic intervention.

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