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World J Gastroenterol. 2013 Sep 28;19(36):6084-92. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v19.i36.6084.

Overexpression of insulin-like growth factor-I receptor as a pertinent biomarker for hepatocytes malignant transformation.

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Xiao-Di Yan, Hai-Jian Zhang, Deng-Fu Yao, Research Center of Clinical Medicine, Affiliated Hospital of Nantong University, Nantong 226001, Jiangsu Province, China.



To investigate the dynamic features of insulin-like growth factor-I receptor (IGF-IR) expression in rat hepatocarcinogenesis, and the relationship between IGF-IR and hepatocytes malignant transformation at mRNA or protein level.


Hepatoma models were made by inducing with 2-fluorenylacetamide (2-FAA) on male Sprague-Dawley rats. Morphological changes of hepatocytes were observed by pathological Hematoxylin and eosin staining, the dynamic expressions of liver and serum IGF-IR were quantitatively analyzed by an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. The distribution of hepatic IGF-IR was located by immunohistochemistry. The fragments of IGF-IR gene were amplified by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction, and confirmed by sequencing.


Rat hepatocytes after induced by 2-FAA were changed dynamically from granule-like degeneration, precancerous to hepatoma formation with the progressing increasing of hepatic mRNA or IGF-IR expression. The incidences of liver IGF-IR, IGF-IR mRNA, specific IGF-IR concentration (ng/mg wet liver), and serum IGF-IR level (ng/mL) were 0.0%, 0.0%, 0.63 ± 0.17, and 1.33 ± 0.47 in the control; 50.0%, 61.1%, 0.65 ± 0.2, and 1.51 ± 0.46 in the degeneration; 88.9%, 100%, 0.66 ± 0.14, and 1.92 ± 0.29 in the precancerosis; and 100%, 100%, 0.96 ± 0.09, and 2.43 ± 0.57 in the cancerous group, respectively. IGF-IR expression in the cancerous group was significantly higher (P < 0.01) than that in any of other groups at mRNA or protein level. The closely positive IGF-IR relationship was found between livers and sera (r = 0.91, t = 14.222, P < 0.01), respectively.


IGF-IR expression may participate in rat hepatocarcinogenesis and its abnormality should be an early marker for hepatocytes malignant transformation.


Gene amplification; Hepatoma; Immunohistochemistry; Insulin-like growth factor-I receptor; Rat hepatoma model; Sequencing

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