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BioMed Research International
Volume 2016, Article ID 1473578, 7 pages
Research Article

Expression of miRNA-122 Induced by Liver Toxicants in Zebrafish

1New Drug Development Center, Osong Medical Innovation Foundation, Chungbuk 28160, Republic of Korea
2Graduate School of New Drug Discovery and Development, Chungnam National University, Daejeon 34134, Republic of Korea
3Department of Biology, Chungnam National University, Daejeon 34134, Republic of Korea
4Department of Drug Discovery Platform Technology, Korea Research Institute of Chemical Technology (KRICT), Daejeon 34114, Republic of Korea
5Department of Pathology, Asan Medical Center, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Seoul 05505, Republic of Korea
6College of Veterinary Medicine, Chungnam National University, Daejeon 34134, Republic of Korea

Received 15 April 2016; Revised 20 June 2016; Accepted 4 July 2016

Academic Editor: Minjun Chen

Copyright © 2016 Hyun-Sik Nam et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


MicroRNA-122 (miRNA-122), also known as liver-specific miRNA, has recently been shown to be a potent biomarker in response to liver injury in mammals. The objective of this study was to examine its expression in response to toxicant treatment and acute liver damage, using the zebrafish system as an alternative model organism. For the hepatotoxicity assay, larval zebrafish were arrayed in 24-well plates. Adult zebrafish were also tested and arrayed in 200 mL cages. Animals were exposed to liver toxicants (tamoxifen or acetaminophen) at various doses, and miRNA-122 expression levels were analyzed using qRT-PCR in dissected liver, brain, heart, and intestine, separately. Our results showed no significant changes in miRNA-122 expression level in tamoxifen-treated larvae; however, miRNA-122 expression was highly induced in tamoxifen-treated adults in a tissue-specific manner. In addition, we observed a histological change in adult liver (0.5 μM) and cell death in larval liver (5 μM) at different doses of tamoxifen. These results indicated that miRNA-122 may be utilized as a liver-specific biomarker for acute liver toxicity in zebrafish.