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Toxicol Lett. 2010 Dec 15;199(3):416-24. doi: 10.1016/j.toxlet.2010.10.008. Epub 2010 Oct 19.

Gene expression profiling of murine hepatic steatosis induced by tamoxifen.

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College of Pharmacy and Bio-MAX Institute, Seoul National University, Seoul 151-742, Republic of Korea.


Tamoxifen is an antiestrogenic agent used widely in the treatment of estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer. However, hepatic steatosis has been reported during clinical trials of tamoxifen. To explore the mechanism responsible for this tamoxifen-induced hepatic steatosis, we used microarray analysis to profile the gene expression pattern of mouse liver after tamoxifen treatment. Tamoxifen was administered orally as a single dose of 10mg/kg (low dose), 50mg/kg (medium dose), or 100mg/kg (high dose) to C57BL/6 mice, and the livers were removed 2h, 4h, 8h, and 24h later. From microarray data obtained from the liver samples, 414 genes were selected as tamoxifen-responsive genes (P<0.05, two-way ANOVA; cutoff ≥ 1.5-fold response). These genes were classified into three groups: 308 of the 414 genes showed a time-dependent response, nine genes showed a dose-dependent response, and 97 genes showed a time- and dose-dependent response. Most of the 308 time-dependent-responsive genes were associated predominantly with the biological processes involved in lipid metabolism. Overrepresented transcription factor binding site analysis showed that the following nuclear receptors that are important in lipid and carbohydrate metabolism were overrepresented: the androgen receptor (AR), nuclear receptor subfamily 2 group F member 1 (NR2F1), hepatocyte nuclear factor 4α (HNF4α), and retinoic acid receptor-related orphan receptor alpha 1 (RORα1). Reporter gene analysis further revealed that tamoxifen repressed the 5α-dihydrotestosterone-induced activation of the AR and the intrinsic transactivation function of RORα1, HNF4α, and NR2F1. Taken together, these data provide a better understanding of the molecular mechanism underlying tamoxifen-induced steatogenic hepatotoxicity and useful information for predicting steatogenic hepatotoxicity.

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