Gene expression profiles of murine fatty liver induced by the administration of methotrexate

Min Ho Lee, Il Hong, Mingoo Kim, Byung Hoon Lee, Ju Han Kim, Kyung Sun Kang, Hyung Lae Kim, Byung Il Yoon, Heekyoung Chung, Gu Kong, Mi Ock Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Methotrexate (MTX) is used to treat a variety of chronic inflammatory and neoplastic diseases. However, it can induce hepatotoxicity such as microvesicular steatosis and necrosis. To explore the mechanisms of MTX-induced hepatic steatosis, we used microarray analysis to profile the gene expression patterns of mouse liver after MTX treatment. MTX was administered orally as a single dose of 10 mg/kg (low dose) or 100 mg/kg (high dose) to ICR mice, and the livers were obtained 6 h, 24 h, and 72 h after treatment. Serum alanine aminotransferase, aspartate aminotransferase and triacylglycerol levels were not significantly altered in the experimental animals. Signs of steatosis were observed at 24 h after administration of high dose of MTX. From microarray data analysis, 908 genes were selected as MTX-responsive genes (P < 0.05, two-way ANOVA; cutoff ≥1.5-fold). Database for Annotation, Visualization and Integrated Discovery (DAVID) analysis revealed that the predominant biological processes associated with these genes are response to unfolded proteins, phosphate metabolism, and cellular lipid metabolism. Functional categorization of these genes identified 28 genes involved in lipid metabolism that was interconnected with the biological pathways of biosynthesis, catabolism, and transport of lipids and fatty acids. Taken together, these data provide a better understanding of the molecular mechanisms of MTX-induced steatogenic hepatotoxicity, and useful information for predicting hepatotoxicity through pattern recognition.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)75-84
Number of pages10
Issue number1
StatePublished - 10 Jul 2008

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by Korea Food and Drug Administration grant (KFDA-05122-TGP-584), the SRC/ERC program of MOST/KOSEF (R11-2007-107-01001-0) and the Ministry of Education as The Brain Korea 21 Project.


  • Fatty liver
  • Methotrexate
  • Microarray analysis
  • Toxicogenomics


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