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Relevance Of Reactive Oxygen Species In Liver Disease Observed In Transgenic Mice Expressing The Hepatitis B Virus X Protein

Dae-Yeul Yu

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AbstractThe hepatitis B virus (HBV) infects approximately 240 million people worldwide, causing chronic liver disease (CLD) and liver cancer. Although numerous studies have been performed to date, unfortunately there is no conclusive drug or treatment for HBV induced liver disease. The hepatitis B virus X (HBx) is considered a key player in inducing CLD and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). We generated transgenic (Tg) mice expressing HBx protein, inducing HCC at the age of 11–18 months. The incidence of histological phenotype, including liver tumor, differed depending on the genetic background of HBx Tg mice. Fatty change and tumor generation were observed much earlier in livers of HBx Tg hybrid (C57BL/6 and CBA) (HBx-Tg hybrid) mice than in HBx Tg C57BL/6 (HBx-Tg B6) mice. Inflammation was also enhanced in the HBx-Tg B6 mice as compared to HBx-Tg hybrid mice. HBx may be involved in inducing and promoting hepatic steatosis, glycemia, hepatic fibrosis, and liver cancer. Reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation was remarkably increased in livers of HBx Tg young mice compared to young wild type control mice. Previous studies on HBx Tg mice indicate that the HBx-induced ROS plays a role in inducing and promoting CLD and HCC.