Research Papers:

Lingguizhugan decoction improves non-alcoholic fatty liver disease by altering insulin resistance and lipid metabolism related genes: a whole trancriptome study by RNA-Seq

Mingzhe Zhu, Shijun Hao, Tao Liu, Lili Yang, Peiyong Zheng, Li Zhang _ and Guang Ji

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Oncotarget. 2017; 8:82621-82631. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.19734

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Mingzhe Zhu1,2,*, Shijun Hao1,*, Tao Liu1, Lili Yang1, Peiyong Zheng1, Li Zhang1 and Guang Ji1

1Institute of Digestive Diseases, China-Canada Center of Research for Digestive Diseases, Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Shanghai, China

2Public Health College, Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Shanghai, China

*The authors have contributed equally to this work

Correspondence to:

Li Zhang, email: [email protected]

Guang Ji, email: [email protected]

Keywords: Lingguizhugan decoction, gene expression, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, RNA-Seq

Received: June 07, 2017     Accepted: June 29, 2017     Published: July 28, 2017


Lingguizhugan decoction, a classic traditional Chinese medicine formula, has been used to treat non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), however, the underlying mechanisms remains unclear. In the present study, we compared the phenotype of the normal rats (fed with chow diet), high-fat-diet (HFD) induced NAFLD rats and Lingguizhugan decoction (LGZG, comprises four Chinese herbs: Poria, Ramulus Cinnamomi, Rhizoma Atractylodis Macrocephalae, and Radix Glycyrrhizae.) intervened rats, and detected whole genome gene expression by RNA-Seq. Our results demonstrated that LGZG decoction attenuated phenotypic characteristics of NAFLD rats. RNA-Seq data analysis revealed that gene expression profiles exerted differential patterns between different groups. 2690 (1445 up-regulated, 1245 down-regulated) genes in NAFLD versus (vs) normal group, 69 (16 up-regulated, 53 down-regulated) genes in LGZG vs NAFLD group, and 42 overlapped (12 up- regulated, 30 down-regulated) genes between NAFLDvs normal group and LGZG vs NAFLD group were identified as differentially expressed. GO, pathway enrichment and PPI networks analysis of the overlapped genes revealed that LGZG decoction might attenuate NAFLD possibly by affecting insulin resistance and lipid metabolism related pathways (e.g., PI3K-Akt, AMPK). Differentially expressed genes involved in these pathways such as Pik3r1, Foxo1, Foxo3, Scd1, Col3a1 and Fn1 might be candidate targets for treating NAFLD.

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