Clinical studies have shown a close association between nonalcoholic fatty liver disease and adult-onset GH deficiency, but the relevant molecular mechanisms are still unclear. No mouse model has been suitable to study the etiological relationship ofhumannonalcoholic fatty liver disease and human adult-onset GH deficiency under conditions similar to the human liver in vivo. We generated human (h-)hepatocyte chimeric mice with livers that were predominantly repopulated with h-hepatocytes in a h-GH-deficient state. The chimeric mouse liver was mostly repopulated with h-hepatocytes about 50 d after transplantation and spontaneously became fatty in the h-hepatocyte regions after about 70 d. Infusion of the chimeric mouse with h-GH drastically decreased steatosis, showing the direct cause ofh-GH deficiency in the generation of hepatic steatosis. Using microarray profiles aided by real-time quantitative RT-PCR, comparison between h-hepatocytes from h-GH-untreated and -treated mice identified 14 GH-up-regulated and four GH-down-regulated genes, including IGF-I, SOCS2, NNMT, IGFLS, P4AH1, SLC16A1, SRD5A1, FADS1, and AKR1B10, respectively. These GH-up- and -down-regulated genes were expressed in the chimeric mouse liver at lower and higher levels than in human livers, respectively. Treatment of the chimeric mice with h-GH ameliorated their altered expression. h-Hepatocytes were separated from chimeric mouse livers for testing in vitro effects of h-GH or h-IGF-I on gene expression, and results showed that GH directly regulated the expression of IGF-I, SOCS2, NNMT, IGFALS, P4AH1, FADS1, and AKR1B10. In conclusion, the chimeric mouse is a novel h-GH-deficient animal model for studying in vivo h-GH-dependent human liver dysfunctions.
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