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  • Research Article
  • Open Access

A microarray gene analysis of peripheral whole blood in normal adult male rats after long-term GH gene therapy

Cellular & Molecular Biology LettersAn International Journal201015:1

  • Received: 16 September 2009
  • Accepted: 21 December 2009
  • Published:


The main aims of this study were to determine the effects of GH gene abuse/misuse in normal animals and to discover genes that could be used as candidate biomarkers for the detection of GH gene therapy abuse/misuse in humans. We determined the global gene expression profile of peripheral whole blood from normal adult male rats after long-term GH gene therapy using CapitalBio 27 K Rat Genome Oligo Arrays. Sixty one genes were found to be differentially expressed in GH gene-treated rats 24 weeks after receiving GH gene therapy, at a two-fold higher or lower level compared to the empty vector group (p < 0.05). These genes were mainly associated with angiogenesis, oncogenesis, apoptosis, immune networks, signaling pathways, general metabolism, type I diabetes mellitus, carbon fixation, cell adhesion molecules, and cytokine-cytokine receptor interaction. The results imply that exogenous GH gene expression in normal subjects is likely to induce cellular changes in the metabolism, signal pathways and immunity. A real-time qRT-PCR analysis of a selection of the genes confirmed the microarray data. Eight differently expressed genes were selected as candidate biomarkers from among these 61 genes. These 8 showed five-fold higher or lower expression levels after the GH gene transduction (p < 0.05). They were then validated in real-time PCR experiments using 15 single-treated blood samples and 10 control blood samples. In summary, we detected the gene expression profiles of rat peripheral whole blood after long-term GH gene therapy and screened eight genes as candidate biomarkers based on the microarray data. This will contribute to an increased mechanistic understanding of the effects of chronic GH gene therapy abuse/misuse in normal subjects.

Key words

  • Microarray
  • Peripheral whole blood
  • Growth hormone gene therapy
  • Biomarker genes