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Abstract

The localization of the expression of several cytochrome P-450 genes in normal and diseased human liver was investigated by in situ hybridization of formalin-fixed, paraffin wax–embedded archival tissue samples with 35S-labeled antisense RNA probes. The results demonstrated that genes coding for members of the cytochrome P-450 3A subfamily (CYP3A) were preferentially expressed in hepatocytes in acinar zone 3 (the centrilobular region), whereas genes coding for CYP1A2, CYP2A, 2B and 2C were expressed uniformly throughout the liver acinus. In cirrhotic livers, CYP2A and 2B genes (and to a lesser extent, CYP3A genes) were highly expressed in isolated hepatocytes located at the junction of parenchyma with fibrous septa. The cause and significance of the position-dependent expression of specific cytochrome P-450 genes in normal and diseased human liver are discussed. (HEPATOLOGY 1992;16:682–687.)