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Global as well as specific expression profiles of selected rat tissues were characterized to assess the safety of genetically modified (GM) maize MON810 containing the insecticidal protein Cry1Ab. Gene expression was evaluated by use of Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) as well as RT-qPCR within rat intestinal tissues based on mandatory 90-day rodent feeding studies. In parallel to two 90-day feeding studies, the transcriptional response of rat tissues was assessed as another endpoint to enhance the mechanistic interpretation of GM feeding studies and/or to facilitate the generation of a targeted hypothesis. Rats received diets containing 33% GM maize (MON810) or near-isogenic control maize. As a site of massive exposure to ingested feed the transcriptomic response of ileal and colonic tissue was profiled via RT-qPCR arrays targeting apoptosis, DNA-damage/repair, unfolded protein response (UPR). For global RNA profiling of rat ileal tissue, we applied NGS.