Many sex differences in liver gene expression originate in the brain, depend on GH secretion and may underlie sex disparities in hepatic disease. Because epigenetic mechanisms may contribute, we studied promoter methylation and microRNA abundance in the liver, associated with expression of sexual dimorphic genes in mice with selective disruption of the dopamine D2 receptor in neurons (neuroDrd2KO), which decreases hypothalamic Ghrh, pituitary GH, and serum IGFI and in neonatally androgenized female mice which have increased pituitary GH content and serum IGFI. We evaluated mRNA levels of the female predominant genes prolactin receptor (Prlr), alcohol dehydrogenase 1 (Adh1), Cyp2a4, and hepatocyte nuclear transcription factor 6 (Hnf6) and the male predominant gene, Cyp7b1. Female predominant genes had higher mRNA levels compared to males, but lower methylation was only detected in the Prlr and Cyp2a4 female promoters. In neuroDrd2KO mice, sexual dimorphism was lost for all genes; the upregulation (feminization) of Prlr and Cyp2a4 in males correlated with decreased methylation of their promoters, and the downregulation (masculinization) of Hnf-6 mRNA in females correlated inversely with its promoter methylation. Neonatal androgenization of females evoked a loss of sexual dimorphism only for the female predominant Hnf6 and Adh1 genes, but no differences in promoter methylation were found. Finally, mmu-miR-155-5p, predicted to target Cyp7b1 expression, was lower in males in association with higher Cyp7b1 mRNA levels compared to females and was not modified in neuroDrd2KO or TP mice. Our results suggest specific regulation of gene sexually dimorphic expression in the liver by methylation or miRNAs.
Belen Brie, Ana Ornstein, Maria Cecilia Ramirez, Isabel Lacau-Mengido and Damasia Becu-Villalobos
Carolina S Martinez, Verónica G Piazza, María E Díaz, Ravneet K Boparai, Oge Arum, María C Ramírez, Lorena González, Damasia Becú-Villalobos, Andrzej Bartke, Daniel Turyn, Johanna G Miquet and Ana I Sotelo
GH/STAT5 signaling is desensitized in the liver in adult transgenic mice overexpressing GH; however, these animals present greater body size. To assess whether the STAT5 pathway is active during the growth period in the liver in these animals, and how signaling modulators participate in this process, growing transgenic mice and normal siblings were evaluated. STAT5 does not respond to an acute GH-stimulus, but displays higher basal phosphorylation in the livers of growing GH-overexpressing mice. GH receptor and the positive modulators glucocorticoid receptor and HNF1 display greater abundance in transgenic animals, supporting the activity of STAT5. The negative modulators cytokine-induced suppressor and PTP1B are increased in GH-overexpressing mice. The suppressors SOCS2 and SOCS3 exhibit higher mRNA levels in transgenic mice but lower protein content, indicating that they are being actively degraded. Therefore, STAT5 signaling is increased in the liver in GH-transgenic mice during the growth period, with a balance between positive and negative effectors resulting in accelerated but controlled growth.