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    The Nile rat (Arvicanthis niloticus) is a novel diurnal carbohydrate-sensitive rodent useful for studies on type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) and the metabolic syndrome. Hepatic responses to T2DM and any interventions thereof can be evaluated via transcriptomic gene expression analysis. However, the study of gene expression via real-time reverse transcription quantitative polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR) requires identification of stably expressed reference genes for accurate normalisation. This study describes the evaluation and identification of stable reference genes in the livers from Control Nile rats as well as those supplemented with Water-Soluble Palm Fruit Extract, which has been previously shown to attenuate T2DM in this animal model. Seven genes identified as having stable expression in RNA-Sequencing transcriptome analysis were chosen for verification using real-time RT-qPCR. Six commonly used reference genes from previous literature and two genes from a previous microarray gene expression study in Nile rats were also evaluated. The expression data of these 15 candidate reference genes were analysed using the RefFinder software which incorporated analyses performed by various algorithms. The Hpd, Pnpla6 and Vpp2 genes were identified as the most stable across the 36 samples tested. Their applicability was demonstrated through the normalisation of the gene expression profiles of two target genes, Cela1 and Lepr. In conclusion, three novel reference genes which can be used for robust normalisation of real-time RT-qPCR data were identified, thereby facilitating future hepatic gene expression studies in the Nile rat.


    Soon-Sen Leow, Wei-Kang Lee, Jia-Shiun Khoo, Seddon Teoh, Chee-Choong Hoh, Syed Fairus, Ravigadevi Sambanthamurthi, K C Hayes. Identification of reference genes for real-time polymerase chain reaction gene expression studies in Nile rats fed Water-Soluble Palm Fruit Extract. Molecular biology reports. 2020 Dec;47(12):9409-9427

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    PMID: 33222119

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