Background: Alcohol consumption is a major cause of liver disease in humans. The use and monitoring of biomarkers associated with early, pre-clinical stages of alcohol-induced liver disease (pre-ALD) could facilitate diagnosis and treatment, leading to improved outcomes.Methods: We investigated the pathological, transcriptomic and protein changes in early stages of pre-ALD in mice fed the Lieber-Decarli liquid diet with or without alcohol for four months to identify biomarkers for the early stage of alcohol induced liver injury. Mice were sampled after 1, 2 and 4 months treatment.Results: Pathological examination revealed a modest increase in fatty liver changes in alcohol-treated mice. Transcriptomics revealed gene alterations at all time points. Most notably, the Igfbp1 (Insulin-Like Growth Factor Binding Protein 1) was selected as the best candidate gene for early detection of liver damage since it showed early and continuously enhanced induction during the treatment course. Consistent with the microarray data, both Igfbp1mRNA expression in the liver tissue and the IGFBP1 serum protein levels showed progressive and significant increases over the course of pre-ALD development.Conclusions: The results suggest that in conjunction with other tests, serum IGFBPI protein could provide an easily measured biomarker for early detection of alcohol-induced liver injury in humans.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)