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Liver Int. 2011 Apr;31(4):542-51. doi: 10.1111/j.1478-3231.2010.02443.x. Epub 2011 Jan 19.

A novel and comprehensive mouse model of human non-alcoholic steatohepatitis with the full range of dysmetabolic and histological abnormalities induced by gold thioglucose and a high-fat diet.

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  • 1Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Kochi Medical School, Kochi, Japan.



The search for effective treatments of non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), now the most common chronic liver disease in affluent countries, is hindered by a lack of animal models having the range of anthropometric and pathophysiological features as human NASH.


To examine if mice treated with gold thioglucose (GTG) - known to induce lesions in the ventromedial hypothalamus, leading to hyperphagia and obesity - and then fed a high-fat diet (HF) had a comprehensive histological and dysmetabolic phenotype resembling human NASH.


C57BL/6 mice were injected intraperitoneally with GTG and then fed HF for 12 weeks (GTG+HF). The extent of abdominal adiposity was assayed by CT scanning. A glucose tolerance test and an insulin tolerance test were performed to evaluate insulin resistance (IR). Histological, molecular and biochemical analyses were also performed.


Gold thioglucose+HF induced dysmetabolism, with hyperphagia, obesity with increased abdominal adiposity, IR and consequent steatohepatitis, with hepatocyte ballooning, Mallory-Denk bodies, perivenular and pericellular fibrosis as seen in adult NASH, paralleled by an increased expression of the profibrogenic factors, transforming growth factor-β1 and TIMP-1. Plasma adiponectin and the expression of adiponectin receptor 1 and receptor 2 were decreased, while PPAR-γ and FAS were increased in the livers of GTG+HF mice. In addition, GTG+HF mice showed glucose intolerance and severe IR.


Treatment with GTG and HF diet induce, in mice, a comprehensive model of human NASH, with the full range of dysmetabolic and histological abnormalities.

© 2011 John Wiley & Sons A/S.

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