Polyploidisation in hepatocytes has been associated with many physiologic and pathologic processes such as proliferation, metabolism, regeneration, aging, and cancer. We studied gene expression patterns in hepatocytes of different ploidy. Primary hepatocytes were obtained from mice of different ages: young (4–6 weeks old), adult (8–10 weeks old), and older (22–24 weeks old). Diploid (2N), tetraploid (4N), and octoploid (8N) hepatocytes were isolated for studies using a high-density mouse genome microarray. No major changes of gene expression patterns between hepatocytes of different ploidy were found. Fifty genes were identified as differentially expressed in the diploid and tetraploid populations, but the changes were less than twofold either way. Four genes (Gas2, Igfbp2, Nr1i3, and Ccne2) were differentially expressed in tetraploid and octoploid cells. This was confirmed in two age groups, “adult” and “older,” but once again the factors were less than twofold and the expressions of Gas2 and Igfbp2 were more different between age groups than between ploidy classes. Our results show that polyploid hepatocytes are stable and “normal” without aberrant gene expression, unlike what is thought for cancer cells. By contrast to megakaryocytes, hepatocyte polyploidisation is not a differentiation step associated with major changes in gene expression. Our data support the hypothesis that hepatocyte polyploidisation is a protective mechanism against oxidative stress that occurs via a controlled process throughout growth and aging where binucleation is important.
Mammalian Genome – Springer Journals
Published: Aug 29, 2007
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