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J Nutr Biochem. 2015 Mar;26(3):285-92. doi: 10.1016/j.jnutbio.2014.11.002. Epub 2014 Dec 6.

Saturated fat and cholesterol are critical to inducing murine metabolic syndrome with robust nonalcoholic steatohepatitis.

Author information

1
Division of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition, Department of Pediatrics, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA, 30322, USA.
2
Division of Digestive Diseases, Department of Medicine, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA, 30322, USA.
3
Division of Digestive Diseases, Department of Medicine, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA, 30322, USA. Electronic address: fanania@emory.edu.

Abstract

Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is the hepatic manifestation of the metabolic syndrome (MetS). Up to a third of NAFLD subjects are at risk for developing nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). Many rodent models fail to replicate both MetS and NASH. The purpose of this study was to develop a reliable mouse model of NASH and MetS using a diet containing cholesterol, saturated fat and carbohydrate that is reflective of Western diets of North Americans.

EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN:

We used adult male C57BL/6 J 4- to 5-week-old mice and administered a solid diet containing 0.2% cholesterol, 45% of its calories from fat, with 30% of the fat in the form of partially hydrogenated vegetable oil. We also provided carbohydrate largely as high-fructose corn syrup equivalent in water. In a separate cohort, we gave the identical diet in the absence of cholesterol. Glucose and insulin tolerance testing was conducted throughout the feeding period. The feeding was conducted for 16 weeks, and the mice were sacrificed for histological analysis, markers of MetS, liver inflammation, circulating lipids, as well as liver staining for fibrosis and alpha smooth muscle actin (α-SMA).

RESULTS:

We found that cholesterol significantly increased serum leptin, interleukin-6, liver weight and liver weight/body weight ratio, fibrosis and liver α-SMA.

CONCLUSIONS:

Mice administered a diet accurately reflecting patterns associated with humans afflicted with MetS can reliably replicate features of MetS, NASH and significant liver fibrosis. The model we describe significantly reduces the time by several months for development of stage 3 hepatic fibrosis.

KEYWORDS:

Adipocytokine; Cholesterol; Fibrosis; Fructose; NASH

PMID:
25577467
PMCID:
PMC4727836
DOI:
10.1016/j.jnutbio.2014.11.002
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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