PloS one

Predose and Postdose Blood Gene Expression Profiles Identify the Individuals Susceptible to Acetaminophen-Induced Liver Injury in Rats.

PMID 26512990


The extent of drug-induced liver injury (DILI) can vary greatly between different individuals. Thus, it is crucial to identify susceptible population to DILI. The aim of this study was to determine whether transcriptomics analysis of predose and postdose rat blood would allow prediction of susceptible individuals to DILI using the widely applied analgesic acetaminophen (APAP) as a model drug. Based on ranking in alanine aminotransferase levels, five most susceptible and five most resistant rats were identified as two sub-groups after APAP treatment. Predose and postdose gene expression profiles of blood samples from these rats were determined by microarray analysis. The expression of 158 genes innately differed in the susceptible rats from the resistant rats in predose data. In order to identify more reliable biomarkers related to drug responses for detecting individuals susceptibility to APAP-induced liver injury (AILI), the changes of these genes' expression posterior to APAP treatment were detected. Through the further screening method based on the trends of gene expression between the two sub-groups before and after drug treatment, 10 genes were identified as potential predose biomarkers to distinguish between the susceptible and resistant rats. Among them, four genes, Incenp, Rpgrip1, Sbf1, and Mmp12, were found to be reproducibly in real-time PCR with an independent set of animals. They were all innately higher expressed in resistant rats to AILI, which are closely related to cell proliferation and tissue repair functions. It indicated that rats with higher ability of cell proliferation and tissue repair prior to drug treatment might be more resistant to AILI. In this study, we demonstrated that combination of predose and postdose gene expression profiles in blood might identify the drug related inter-individual variation in DILI, which is a novel and important methodology for identifying susceptible population to DILI.