To investigate the effect of signal molecules and their receptor-associated genes on rat liver regeneration (LR) at the transcriptional level, the associated genes were originally obtained by retrieving the databases and related scientific publications; their expression profiles in rat LR were then checked using the Rat Genome 230 2.0 microarray. The LR-associated genes were identified by comparing gene expression difference between partial hepatectomy groups and operation-control groups. A total of 454 genes were proved to be LR related. The genes associated with the seven kinds of signal molecules (steroid hormones, fatty acid derivatives, protein and polypeptide hormones, amino acids and their derivatives, choline, cytokines, and gas signal molecules) were detected to be enriched in a cluster characterized by upregulated expression in LR. The number of genes related to the seven kinds of signal molecules was, in sequence, 63, 27, 100, 102, 16, 166, and 18. The 1027 frequencies of upregulation and 823 frequencies of downregulation in total as well as 42 types of different expression patterns suggest the complex and diverse gene expression changes in LR. It is presumed that signal molecules played an important role in metabolism, inflammation, cell proliferation, growth and differentiation, etc., during rat LR.
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