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Am J Drug Alcohol Abuse. 2017 Jan;43(1):61-68. doi: 10.1080/00952990.2016.1217539. Epub 2016 Oct 14.

Establishment of an alcoholic fatty liver disease model in mice.

Tan P1,2, Liang H1,2,3, Nie J1,2, Diao Y1,2, He Q1,2, Hou B1,2, Zhao T1,2, Huang H1,2, Li Y1,2, Gao X1,2, Zhou L1,2, Liu Y4.

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a Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology , Harbin Medical University , Harbin , China.
b Translational Medicine Center of Northern China , Harbin , China.
c Department of Clinical Laboratory , Harbin Medical University Cancer Hospital , Harbin , China.
d Department of Gastroenterology , Heilongjiang Province Hospital , Harbin , China.



Alcoholic fatty liver disease (AFLD) defines an important stage in the progression of alcoholic liver disease (ALD), which is a major cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide.


To establish a mouse model of AFLD.


Male C57BL/6 mice were divided into the following two groups: (i) a control group, which was allowed free access to food and water and (ii) an alcohol-treated group, which was administered a 15% (v/v) alcohol solution instead of water. After 8-9 months of treatment, serum biochemical indexes, histopathological changes, liver triglyceride content, iron storage, and ferritin light chain protein expression were measured using an automatic biochemical analyzer, hematoxylin-eosin (HE) staining, a commercially available kit, Prussian blue staining, and Western blot analysis, respectively.


Compared with the control group, the alcohol-treated group displayed increased levels of serum LDH, ALT, and AST, decreased levels of ALB, and no significant change in levels of TP. Additionally, increased levels of serum TG, T-CHO, and LDL and decreased levels of serum GLU and HDL were observed in the alcohol-treated mice. HE staining showed that lipid vacuolization occurred in the livers of alcohol-treated mice. The alcohol-treated mice also exhibited increased liver triglyceride content. Moreover, Prussian blue staining and Western blot analysis demonstrated that chronic alcohol administration caused iron overloading of the liver.


Chronic administration of 15% (v/v) alcohol in the drinking water over 8-9 months caused AFLD in mice. Our results establish an AFLD model that represents a promising tool for the future study of the progression of ALD.


Alcoholic fatty liver disease (AFLD); alcoholic liver disease (ALD); iron; serum biochemical indexes; triglyceride

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