The recovery of liver mass is mainly mediated by proliferation of hepatocytes after 2/3 partial hepatectomy (PH) in rats. Studying the gene expression profiles of hepatocytes after 2/3 PH will be helpful to investigate the molecular mechanisms of liver regeneration (LR). We report here the first application of weighted gene co-expression network analysis (WGCNA) to analyze the biological implications of gene expression changes associated with LR. WGCNA identifies 12 specific gene modules and some hub genes from hepatocytes genome-scale microarray data in rat LR. The results suggest that upregulated MCM5 may promote hepatocytes proliferation during LR; BCL3 may play an important role by activating or inhibiting NF-kB pathway; MAPK9 may play a permissible role in DNA replication by p38 MAPK inactivation in hepatocytes proliferation stage. Thus, WGCNA can provide novel insight into understanding the molecular mechanisms of LR.©2014 Zhou et al.
Zhou, Y., Xu, J., Liu, Y., Li, J., Chang, C., & Xu, C. (2014). Rat hepatocytes weighted gene co-expression network analysis identifies specific modules and hub genes related to liver regeneration after partial hepatectomy. PLoS ONE, 9(4). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0094868