A novel hamster nonalcoholic steatohepatitis model induced by a high-fat and high-cholesterol diet.
ABSTRACT: Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), in which there is steatosis and fibrosis in the liver, is linked to metabolic syndrome and progresses to hepatic cirrhosis. In this study, a novel hamster NASH model derived from metabolic syndrome was made using hamsters. Hamsters were fed a normal or a high-fat and high-cholesterol (HFC) diet for 12 weeks. Body weight and the ratio of liver weight to body weight were significantly greater in HFC diet-fed hamsters than in normal diet-fed hamsters. Triglyceride, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, and glucose levels in blood were significantly increased in HFC diet-fed hamsters, and blood pressure also tended to be high, suggesting that the HFC diet-fed hamsters developed metabolic syndrome. Hepatic steatosis and fibrosis were observed in liver sections of HFC diet-fed hamsters, as in patients with NASH, but they were not seen in normal diet-fed hamsters. Chymase generates angiotensin II and transforming growth factor (TGF)-?, both of which are related to hepatic steatosis and fibrosis, and a significant augmentation of chymase activity was observed in livers from HFC diet-fed hamsters. Both angiotensin II and TGF-? were also significantly increased in livers of HFC diet-fed hamsters. Thus, HFC diet-fed hamsters might develop metabolic syndrome-derived NASH that clinically resembles that in NASH patients.
Project description:The use of translationally relevant animal models is essential, also within the field of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). Compared to frequently used mouse and rat models, the hamster may provide a higher degree of physiological similarity to humans in terms of lipid profile and lipoprotein metabolism. However, the effects in hamsters after long-term exposure to a NASH diet are not known. Male Syrian hamsters were fed either a high-fat, high-fructose, high-cholesterol diet (NASH diet) or control diets for up to 12 months. Plasma parameters were assessed at two weeks, one, four, eight and 12 months and liver histopathology and biochemistry was characterized after four, eight and 12 months on the experimental diets. After two weeks, hamsters on NASH diet had developed marked dyslipidemia, which persisted for the remainder of the study. Hepatic steatosis was present in NASH-fed hamsters after four months, and hepatic stellate cell activation and fibrosis was observed within four to eight months, respectively, in agreement with progression towards NASH. In summary, we demonstrate that hamsters rapidly develop dyslipidemia when fed a high-fat, high-fructose, high-cholesterol diet. Moreover, within four to eight months, the NASH-diet induced hepatic changes with resemblance to human NAFLD.
Project description:Non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) is a common liver disease characterized by hepatic lipid accumulation (steatosis) and inflammation. Currently, therapeutic options are poor and the long-term burden to society is constantly increasing. Previously, macrophage stimulating protein (MSP)-a serum protein mainly secreted by liver-was shown to inhibit oxidized low-density lipoprotein (OxLDL)/lipopolysaccharides (LPS)-induced inflammation in mouse macrophages. Additionally, MSP could reduce palmitic acid (PA)-induced lipid accumulation and lipogenesis in the HepG2 cell line. Altogether, these data suggest MSP as a suppressor for metabolic inflammation. However, so far the potential of MSP to be used as a treatment for NASH was not investigated. We hypothesized that MSP reduces lipid accumulation and hepatic inflammation. To investigate the effects of MSP in the early stage of NASH, low-density lipoprotein receptor (Ldlr-/-) mice were fed either a regular chow or a high fat, high cholesterol (HFC) diet for 7 days. Recombinant MSP or saline (control) was administrated to the mice by utilizing subcutaneously-implanted osmotic mini-pumps for the last 4 days. As expected, mice fed an HFC diet showed increased plasma and hepatic lipid accumulation, as well as enhanced hepatic inflammation, compared with chow-fed controls. Upon MSP administration, the rise in cholesterol and triglyceride levels after an HFC diet remained unaltered. Surprisingly, while hepatic macrophage and neutrophil infiltration was similar between the groups, MSP-treated mice showed increased gene expression of pro-inflammatory and pro-apoptotic mediators in the liver, compared with saline-treated controls. Contrary to our expectations, MSP did not ameliorate NASH. Observed changes in inflammatory gene expression suggest that further research is needed to clarify the long-term effects of MSP.
Project description:Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) are hepatic manifestations of the metabolic syndrome. Many currently used animal models of NAFLD/NASH lack clinical features of either NASH or metabolic syndrome such as hepatic inflammation and fibrosis (e.g. high-fat diets) or overweight and insulin resistance (e.g. methionine-choline-deficient diets) or they are based on monogenetic defects (e.g. ob/ob mice). In the current study, a western-type diet containing soybean oil with high n 6-PUFA and 0.75% cholesterol (SOD+Cho) induced steatosis, inflammation and fibrosis accompanied by hepatic lipid peroxidation and oxidative stress in livers of C57BL/6-mice which in addition showed increased weight gain and insulin resistance, thus displaying a phenotype closely resembling all clinical features of NASH in patients with metabolic syndrome. In striking contrast a soybean oil-containing western-type diet without cholesterol (SOD) induced only mild steatosis but neither hepatic inflammation nor fibrosis, weight gain or insulin resistance. Another high-fat diet mainly consisting of lard and supplemented with fructose in drinking water (LAD+Fru) resulted in more prominent weight gain, insulin resistance and hepatic steatosis than SOD+Cho but livers were devoid of inflammation and fibrosis. Although both LAD+Fru- and SOD+Cho-fed animals had high plasma cholesterol, liver cholesterol was elevated only in SOD+Cho animals. Cholesterol induced expression of chemotactic and inflammatory cytokines in cultured Kupffer cells and rendered hepatocytes more susceptible to apoptosis. Summarizing, dietary cholesterol in SOD+Cho diet may trigger hepatic inflammation and fibrosis. SOD+Cho-fed animals may be a useful disease model displaying many clinical features of patients with the metabolic syndrome and NASH.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Ossabaw miniature swine when fed a diet high in fructose, saturated fat and cholesterol (NASH diet) develop metabolic syndrome and nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) characterized by liver injury and fibrosis. This study was conducted to further characterize the development of NASH in this large animal model. METHODS:Ossabaw swine were fed standard chow (control group; n = 6) or NASH diet (n = 6) for 24 weeks. Blood and liver tissue were collected and liver histology were characterized at 0, 8, 16 and 24 weeks of dietary intervention. Hepatic apoptosis and lipid levels were assessed at week 24. RESULTS:The NASH diet group developed metabolic syndrome and progressive histologic features of NASH including: (a) hepatocyte ballooning at 8 weeks which progressed to extensive ballooning (>90% hepatocytes), (b) hepatic fibrosis at week 16, which progressed to moderate fibrosis, and (c) Kupffer cell accumulation with vacuolization at 8 weeks which progressed through week 24. The NASH diet group showed increased hepatocyte apoptosis that correlated with hepatic total and free cholesterol and free fatty acids, but not esterified cholesterol or triglycerides. CONCLUSIONS:This report further characterizes the progression of diet-induced NASH in the Ossabaw swine model. In Ossabaw swine fed the NASH diet: (a) hepatocyte injury and fibrosis can occur without macrovesicular steatosis or excess triglyceride accumulation; (b) hepatocyte ballooning generally precedes the development of fibrosis; (c) there is increased hepatocyte apoptosis, and it is correlated more significantly with hepatic free cholesterol than hepatic free fatty acids and had no correlation with hepatic triglycerides.
Project description:Non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) involves steatosis combined with inflammation, which can progress into fibrosis and cirrhosis. Exploring the molecular mechanisms of NASH is highly dependent on the availability of animal models. Currently, the most commonly used animal models for NASH imitate particularly late stages of human disease. Thus, there is a need for an animal model that can be used for investigating the factors that potentiate the inflammatory response within NASH. We have previously shown that 7-day high-fat-high-cholesterol (HFC) feeding induces steatosis and inflammation in both APOE2ki and Ldlr(-/-) mice. However, it is not known whether the early inflammatory response observed in these mice will sustain over time and lead to liver damage. We hypothesized that the inflammatory response in both models is sufficient to induce liver damage over time.APOE2ki and Ldlr(-/-) mice were fed a chow or HFC diet for 3 months. C57Bl6/J mice were used as control.Surprisingly, hepatic inflammation was abolished in APOE2ki mice, while it was sustained in Ldlr(-/-) mice. In addition, increased apoptosis and hepatic fibrosis was only demonstrated in Ldlr(-/-) mice. Finally, bone-marrow-derived-macrophages of Ldlr(-/-) mice showed an increased inflammatory response after oxidized LDL (oxLDL) loading compared to APOE2ki mice.Ldlr(-/-) mice, but not APOE2ki mice, developed sustained hepatic inflammation and liver damage upon long term HFC feeding due to increased sensitivity for oxLDL uptake. Therefore, the Ldlr(-/-) mice are a promising physiological model particularly vulnerable for investigating the onset of hepatic inflammation in non-alcoholic steatohepatitis.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Recent studies have indicated that low serum testosterone levels are associated with increased risk of developing hepatic steatosis; however, the mechanisms mediating this phenomenon have not been fully elucidated. To gain insight into the role of testosterone in modulating hepatic steatosis, we investigated the effects of testosterone on the development of hepatic steatosis in pigs fed a high-fat and high-cholesterol (HFC) diet and profiled hepatic gene expression by RNA-Seq in HFC-fed intact male pigs (IM), castrated male pigs (CM), and castrated male pigs with testosterone replacement (CMT). RESULTS:Serum testosterone levels were significantly decreased in CM pigs, and testosterone replacement attenuated castration-induced testosterone deficiency. CM pigs showed increased liver injury accompanied by increased hepatocellular steatosis, inflammation, and elevated serum alanine aminotransferase levels compared with IM pigs. Moreover, serum levels of total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, and triglycerides were markedly increased in CM pigs. Testosterone replacement decreased serum and hepatic lipid levels and improved liver injury in CM pigs. Compared to IM and CMT pigs, CM pigs had lower serum levels of superoxide dismutase but higher levels of malondialdehyde. Gene expression analysis revealed that upregulated genes in the livers of CM pigs were mainly enriched for genes mediating immune and inflammatory responses, oxidative stress, and apoptosis. Surprisingly, the downregulated genes mainly included those that regulate metabolism-related processes, including fatty acid oxidation, steroid biosynthesis, cholesterol and bile acid metabolism, and glucose metabolism. KEGG analysis showed that metabolic pathways, fatty acid degradation, pyruvate metabolism, the tricarboxylic acid cycle, and the nuclear factor-kappaB signaling pathway were the major pathways altered in CM pigs. CONCLUSIONS:This study demonstrated that testosterone deficiency aggravated hypercholesterolemia and hepatic steatosis in pigs fed an HFC diet and that these effects could be reversed by testosterone replacement therapy. Impaired metabolic processes, enhanced immune and inflammatory responses, oxidative stress, and apoptosis may contribute to the increased hepatic steatosis induced by testosterone deficiency and an HFC diet. These results deepened our understanding of the molecular mechanisms of testosterone deficiency-induced hepatic steatosis and provided a foundation for future investigations.
Project description:Non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) is characterised by hepatic steatosis, inflammation and fibrosis, which might progress to cirrhosis. Human NASH is associated with metabolic syndrome (MS). Currently, rodent NASH models either lack significant fibrosis or MS. ApoE(-/-) mice are a MS model used in cardiovascular research. The aim of this work was to establish and characterise a novel mouse NASH model with significant fibrosis and MS. ApoE(-/-) and wild-type mice (wt) were fed either a western-diet (WD), methionine-choline-deficient-diet (MCD) or normal chow. Liver histology, RT-PCR, hepatic hydroxyproline content, triglycerides and cholesterol levels, and fasting glucose levels assessed hepatic steatosis, inflammation and fibrosis. Further, portal pressure was measured invasively, and kidney pathology was assessed by histology. ApoE(-/-) mice receiving WD showed abnormal glucose tolerance, hepatomegaly, weight gain and full spectrum of NASH including hepatic steatosis, fibrosis and inflammation, with no sign of renal damage. MCD-animals showed less severe liver fibrosis, but detectable renal pathological changes, besides weight loss and unchanged glucose tolerance. This study describes a murine NASH model with distinct hepatic steatosis, inflammation and fibrosis, without renal pathology. ApoE(-/-) mice receiving WD represent a novel and fast model with all characteristic features of NASH and MS well suitable for NASH research.
Project description:Creosote bush (Larrea tridentata)-derived nordihydroguaiaretic acid (NDGA) was shown to have profound effects on the core components of metabolic syndrome. This study investigated the in vivo potential of NDGA for prevention or attenuation of the pathophysiologic abnormalities of NASH. A novel dietary NASH model with feeding C57BL/6J mice with a high trans-fat, high cholesterol and high fructose (HTF) diet, was used. The HTF diet fed mice exhibited obesity, insulin resistance, hepatic steatosis, fibrosis, inflammation, ER stress, oxidative stress, and liver injury. NDGA attenuated these metabolic abnormalities as well as hepatic steatosis and fibrosis together with attenuated expression of genes encoding fibrosis, progenitor and macrophage markers with no effect on the levels of mRNAs for lipogenic enzymes. NDGA increased expression of fatty acid oxidation genes. In conclusion, NDGA exerts anti-NASH/anti-fibrotic actions and raises the therapeutic potential of NDGA for treatment of NASH patients with fibrosis and other associated complications.
Project description:Nuciferine is a major active aporphine alkaloid from the leaves of N. nucifera Gaertn that possesses anti-hyperlipidemia, anti-hypotensive, anti-arrhythmic, and insulin secretagogue activities. However, it is currently unknown whether nuciferine can benefit hepatic lipid metabolism.In the current study, male golden hamsters were randomly divided into four groups fed a normal diet, a high-fat diet (HFD), or a HFD supplemented with nuciferine (10 and 15 mg/kg·BW/day). After 8 weeks of intervention, HFD-induced increases in liver and visceral adipose tissue weight, dyslipidemia, liver steatosis, and mild necroinflammation in hamsters were analyzed. Nuciferine supplementation protected against HFD-induced changes, alleviated necroinflammation, and reversed serum markers of metabolic syndrome in hamsters fed a HFD. RT-PCR and western blot analyses revealed that hamsters fed a HFD had up-regulated levels of genes related to lipogenesis, increased free fatty acid infiltration, and down-regulated genes involved in lipolysis and very low density lipoprotein secretion. In addition, gene expression of cytochrome P4502E1 and tumor necrosis factor-? were also increased in the HFD group. Nuciferine supplementation clearly suppressed HFD-induced alterations in the expression of genes involved in lipid metabolism.Nuciferine supplementation ameliorated HFD-induced dyslipidemia as well as liver steatosis and injury. The beneficial effects of nuciferine were associated with altered expression of hepatic genes involved in lipid metabolism.
Project description:Obesity may be viewed as a state of chronic low-grade inflammation that participates in the development of the metabolic syndrome. Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) is considered a hepatic phenotype of the metabolic syndrome and a high risk for progression to cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma. Although the "two hit" hypothesis suggests involvement of excessive hepatic lipid accumulation and chronic inflammation, the molecular mechanisms underlying the development of NASH remain unclear, in part because of lack of appropriate animal models. Herein we report that melanocortin 4 receptor-deficient mice (MC4R-KO) develop steatohepatitis when fed a high-fat diet, which is associated with obesity, insulin resistance, and dyslipidemia. Histologic analysis reveals inflammatory cell infiltration, hepatocyte ballooning, and pericellular fibrosis in the liver in MC4R-KO mice. Of note, all of the MC4R-KO mice examined developed well-differentiated hepatocellular carcinoma after being fed a high-fat diet for 1 year. They also demonstrated enhanced adipose tissue inflammation, ie, increased macrophage infiltration and fibrotic changes, which may contribute to excessive lipid accumulation and enhanced fibrosis in the liver. Thus, MC4R-KO mice provide a novel mouse model of NASH with which to investigate the sequence of events that make up diet-induced hepatic steatosis, liver fibrosis, and hepatocellular carcinoma and to aid in understanding the pathogenesis of NASH, pursuing specific biomarkers, and evaluating potential therapeutic strategies.