Multi-omics analyses of early liver injury reveals cell-type-specific transcriptional and epigenomic shift.

TitleMulti-omics analyses of early liver injury reveals cell-type-specific transcriptional and epigenomic shift.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2021
AuthorsMigdał, M, Tralle, E, Nahia, KAbu, Bugajski, Ł, Kędzierska, KZofia, Garbicz, F, Piwocka, K, Winata, CLanny, Pawlak, M
JournalBMC Genomics
Date Published2021 Dec 18
KeywordsAnimals, Endothelial Cells, Epigenomics, Liver, Zebrafish

BACKGROUND: Liver fibrosis is a wound-healing response to tissue injury and inflammation hallmarked by the extracellular matrix (ECM) protein deposition in the liver parenchyma and tissue remodelling. Different cell types of the liver are known to play distinct roles in liver injury response. Hepatocytes and liver endothelial cells receive molecular signals indicating tissue injury and activate hepatic stellate cells which produce ECM proteins upon their activation. Despite the growing knowledge on the molecular mechanism underlying hepatic fibrosis in general, the cell-type-specific gene regulatory network associated with the initial response to hepatotoxic injury is still poorly characterized.

RESULTS: In this study, we used thioacetamide (TAA) to induce hepatic injury in adult zebrafish. We isolated three major liver cell types - hepatocytes, endothelial cells and hepatic stellate cells - and identified cell-type-specific chromatin accessibility and transcriptional changes in an early stage of liver injury. We found that TAA induced transcriptional shifts in all three cell types hallmarked by significant alterations in the expression of genes related to fatty acid and carbohydrate metabolism, as well as immune response-associated and vascular-specific genes. Interestingly, liver endothelial cells exhibit the most pronounced response to liver injury at the transcriptome and chromatin level, hallmarked by the loss of their angiogenic phenotype.

CONCLUSION: Our results uncovered cell-type-specific transcriptome and epigenome responses to early stage liver injury, which provide valuable insights into understanding the molecular mechanism implicated in the early response of the liver to pro-fibrotic signals.

Alternate JournalBMC Genomics
Citation Key122
PubMed ID34920711
PubMed Central IDPMC8684102