Induction of steatohepatitis (NASH) with insulin resistance in wildtype B6 mice by a western-type diet containing soybean oil and cholesterol.

Research paper by Janin J Henkel, Charles Dominic CD Coleman, Anne A Schraplau, Korinna K Jӧhrens, Daniela D Weber, José Pedro JP Castro, Martin M Hugo, Tim Julius TJ Schulz, Stephanie S Krämer, Annette A Schürmann, Gerhard Paul GP Püschel

Indexed on: 01 Jan '16Published on: 01 Jan '16Published in: Molecular medicine (Cambridge, Mass.)


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.