IJMS, Vol. 23, Pages 15002: Gender Dimorphism in Hepatic Carcinogenesis-Related Gene Expression Associated with Obesity as a Low-Grade Chronic Inflammatory Disease (International Journal of Molecular Sciences)
Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) show clear evidence of sexual dimorphism, with a significantly higher incidence in males. Among the determining factors that could explain this sex-based difference, the specific distribution of fat by sex has been suggested as a primary candidate, since obesity is a relevant risk factor. In this context, obesity, considered a low-grade chronic inflammatory pathology and responsible for the promotion of liver disease, could lead to sexual dimorphism in the expression profile of genes related to tumor development. When we compared the expression levels of genes associated with the early stages of carcinogenesis in the liver between male and female diet-induced obesity (DIO) rats, we observed that the expression pattern was similar in obese male and female animals. Interestingly, the SURVIVIN/BIRC5 oncogene showed a higher expression in male DIO rats than in female DIO and lean rats. This trend related to sexual dimorphism was observed in leukocytes from patients with obesity, although the difference was not statistically significant. In conclusion, this study evidenced a similar pattern in the expression of most carcinogenesis-related genes in the liver, except SUVIVIN/BIRC5, which could be a predictive biomarker of liver carcinogenesis predisposition in male patients with obesity.