Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) can develop into end-stage disease that includes cryptogenic cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma. Bacterial endotoxin, for example lipopolysaccharide (LPS), plays an important role in the pathogenesis of NAFLD. The aim of this study was to assess the role of LPS in the development of NAFLD. Twenty-one male Zucker (fa/fa) rats were divided into three groups: rats fed for twelve weeks on a diet rich in disaccharide (D12 group), rats similarly managed but treated with LPS (LPS group), and those on the same diet for 24 weeks (D24 group). Histological examination demonstrated that this protocol induced hepatic steatosis in the LPS and D24 groups. Significant, marked accumulation of lipid droplets was observed in the LPS group, compared with the D24 group. Rats from the LPS group showed a decrease in plasma adiponectin levels, an increase in plasma leptin levels, and greater expression of FAS and SREBP-1c mRNA in the liver, compared with rats from the D24 group. These finding coincided with histological findings. We therefore suggest that LPS may accelerate the progression of hepatic steatosis.
Keywords: adiponectin; disaccharide; hepatic steatosis; lipopolysaccharides (LPS); nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD).