Tissue-specific pathways and networks underlying sexual dimorphism in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease


Kurt Z. , Barrere-Caın R., Laguardıa J., Mehrabıan M., Pan C., Huı S. T. , ...More

BIOLOGY OF SEX DIFFERENCES, vol.9, 2018 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 9
  • Publication Date: 2018
  • Doi Number: 10.1186/s13293-018-0205-7
  • Title of Journal : BIOLOGY OF SEX DIFFERENCES

Abstract

BackgroundNon-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) encompasses benign steatosis and more severe conditions such as non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), cirrhosis, and liver cancer. This chronic liver disease has a poorly understood etiology and demonstrates sexual dimorphisms. We aim to examine the molecular mechanisms underlying sexual dimorphisms in NAFLD pathogenesis through a comprehensive multi-omics study. We integrated genomics (DNA variations), transcriptomics of liver and adipose tissue, and phenotypic data of NAFLD derived from female mice of similar to 100 strains included in the hybrid mouse diversity panel (HMDP) and compared the NAFLD molecular pathways and gene networks between sexes.ResultsWe identified both shared and sex-specific biological processes for NAFLD. Adaptive immunity, branched chain amino acid metabolism, oxidative phosphorylation, and cell cycle/apoptosis were shared between sexes. Among the sex-specific pathways were vitamins and cofactors metabolism and ion channel transport for females, and phospholipid, lysophospholipid, and phosphatidylinositol metabolism and insulin signaling for males. Additionally, numerous lipid and insulin-related pathways and inflammatory processes in the adipose and liver tissue appeared to show moreprominent association with NAFLD in male HMDP. Using data-driven network modeling, we identified plausible sex-specific and tissue-specific regulatory genes as well as those that are shared between sexes. These key regulators orchestrate the NAFLD pathways in a sex- and tissue-specific manner. Gonadectomy experiments support that sex hormones may partially underlie the sexually dimorphic genes and pathways involved in NAFLD.ConclusionsOur multi-omics integrative study reveals sex- and tissue-specific genes, processes, and networks underlying sexual dimorphism in NAFLD and may facilitate sex-specific precision medicine.