A model of insulin resistance and nonalcoholic steatohepatitis in rats: Role of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-α and n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid treatment on liver injury

Gianluca Svegliati-Baroni, Cinzia Candelaresi, Stefania Saccomanno, Gianna Ferretti, Tiziana Bachetti, Marco Marzioni, Samuele De Minicis, Liliana Nobili, Renata Salzano, Alessia Omenetti, Deborah Pacetti, Soeren Sigmund, Antonio Benedetti, Alessandro Casini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Insulin resistance induces nonalcoholic fatty liver disease and nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). We used a high-fat, high-calorie solid diet (HFD) to create a model of insulin resistance and NASH in nongenetically modified rats and to study the relationship between visceral adipose tissue and liver. Obesity and insulin resistance occurred in HFD rats, accompanied by a progressive increase in visceral adipose tissue tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α mRNA and in circulating free fatty acids. HFD also decreased adiponectin mRNA and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR)-a expression in the visceral adipose tissue and the liver, respectively, and induced hepatic insulin resistance through TNF-α-mediated c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK)-dependent insulin receptor substrate-1Ser307 phosphorylation. These modifications lead to hepatic steatosis accompanied by oxidative stress phenomena, necroinfianimation, and hepatocyte apoptosis at 4 weeks and by pericentral fibrosis at 6 months. Supplementation of n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid, a PPARα ligand, to HFD-treated animals restored hepatic adiponectin and PPARα expression, reduced TNF-a hepatic levels, and ameliorated fatty liver and the degree of liver injury. Thus, our model mimics the most common features of NASH in humans and provides an ideal tool to study the role of individual pathogenetic events (as for PPARα down-regulation) and to define any future experimental therapy, such as n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid, which ameliorated the degree of liver injury.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)846-860
Number of pages15
JournalAmerican Journal of Pathology
Volume169
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine

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