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Hormonally Induced Hepatocellular Carcinoma in Diabetic Wild Type and Carbohydrate Responsive Element Binding Protein Knockout Mice

  • Objective: In the rat, the pancreatic islet transplantation model is an established method to induce hepatocellular carcinomas (HCC), due to insulin-mediated metabolic and molecular alterations like increased glycolysis and de novo lipogenesis and the oncogenic AKT/mTOR pathway including upregulation of the transcription factor Carbohydrate-response element-binding protein (ChREBP). ChREBP could therefore represent an essential oncogenic co-factor during hormonally induced hepatocarcinogenesis. Methods: Pancreatic islet transplantation was implemented in diabetic C57Bl/6J (wild type, WT) and ChREBP-knockout (KO) mice for 6 and 12 months. Liver tissue was examined using histology, immunohistochemistry, electron microscopy and Western blot analysis. Finally, we performed NGS-based transcriptome analysis between WT and KO liver tumor tissues. Results: Three hepatocellular carcinomas were detectable after 6 and 12 months in diabetic transplanted WT mice, but only one in a KO mouse after 12 months. Pre-neoplastic clear cell foci (CCF) were also present in liver acini downstream of the islets in WT and KO mice. In KO tumors, glycolysis, de novo lipogenesis and AKT/mTOR signalling were strongly downregulated compared to WT lesions. Extrafocal liver tissue of diabetic, transplanted KO mice revealed less glycogen storage and proliferative activity than WT mice. From transcriptome analysis, we identified a set of transcripts pertaining to metabolic, oncogenic and immunogenic pathways that are differentially expressed between tumors of WT and KO mice. Of 315 metabolism-associated genes, we observed 199 genes that displayed upregulation in the tumor of WT mice, whereas 116 transcripts showed their downregulated expression in KO mice tumor. Conclusions: The pancreatic islet transplantation model is a suitable method to study hormonally induced hepatocarcinogenesis also in mice, allowing combination with gene knockout models. Our data indicate that deletion of ChREBP delays insulin-induced hepatocarcinogenesis, suggesting a combined oncogenic and lipogenic function of ChREBP along AKT/mTOR-mediated proliferation of hepatocytes and induction of hepatocellular carcinoma.

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Author: Vincent Nuernberger, Sharif Mortoga, Christoph Metzendorf, Christian Burkert, Katrina Ehricke, Elisa Knuth, Jenny Zimmer, Stephan Singer, Neetika Nath, Majedul Karim, Mohd Yasser, Diego F. Calvisi, Frank Dombrowski, Silvia Ribback
Parent Title (English):Cells
Editor: Maria Letizia Taddei
Document Type:Article
Date of first Publication:2021/10/18
Release Date:2021/11/08
Tag:ChREBP; PI3K/AKT/mTOR; clear cell foci of altered hepatocytes; hepatocarcinogenesis; hepatocellular carcinoma; intraportal pancreatic islet transplantation; preneoplastic foci
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Faculties:Universitätsmedizin / Institut für Biometrie und Medizinische Informatik
Licence (German):License LogoCreative Commons - Namensnennung