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Biochemistry - Gastroenterology and Hepatology - Immunology - Physiology - Surgery

Down-Regulation of microRNA-26a Promotes Mouse Hepatocyte Proliferation during Liver Regeneration
Published: Wednesday, April 04, 2012
Author: Jian Zhou et al.

by Jian Zhou, Weiqiang Ju, Dongping Wang, Linwei Wu, Xiaofeng Zhu, Zhiyong Guo, Xiaoshun He


Inadequate liver regeneration (LR) is still an unsolved problem in major liver resection and small-for-size syndrome post-living donor liver transplantation. A number of microRNAs have been shown to play important roles in cell proliferation. Herein, we investigated the role of miR-26a as a pivotal regulator of hepatocyte proliferation in LR.

Methodology/Principal Findings

Adult male C57BL/6J mice, undergoing 70% partial hepatectomy (PH), were treated with Ad5-anti-miR-26a-LUC or Ad5-miR-26a-LUC or Ad5-LUC vector via portal vein. The animals were subjected to in vivo bioluminescence imaging. Serum and liver samples were collected to test liver function, calculate liver-to-body weight ratio (LBWR), document hepatocyte proliferation (Ki-67 staining), and investigate potential targeted gene expression of miR-26a by quantitative real-time PCR and Western blot. The miR-26a level declined during LR after 70% PH. Down-regulation of miR-26a by anti-miR-26a expression led to enhanced proliferation of hepatocytes, and both LBWR and hepatocyte proliferation (Ki-67+ cells %) showed an increased tendency, while liver damage, indicated by aspartate aminotransferase (AST), alanine aminotransferase (ALT) and total bilirubin (T-Bil), was reduced. Furthermore, CCND2 and CCNE2, as possible targeted genes of miR-26a, were up-regulated. In addition, miR-26a over-expression showed converse results.


MiR-26a plays crucial role in regulating the proliferative phase of LR, probably by repressing expressions of cell cycle proteins CCND2 and CCNE2. The current study reveals a novel miRNA-mediated regulation pattern during the proliferative phase of LR.