The berries of bilberry and black currant are a rich source of anthocyanins, which are thought to have favorable effects on nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). This study was designed to examine whether purified anthocyanins from bilberry and black currant are able to limit the disorders related to NASH induced by a methionine-choline-deficient (MCD) diet in mice. The results showed that treatment with anthocyanins not only alleviated inflammation, oxidative stress, steatosis, and even fibrosis but also improved depletion of mitochondrial content and damage of mitochondrial biogenesis and electron transfer chain developed concomitantly in the liver of mice fed the MCD diet. Furthermore, anthocyanins treatment promoted activation of AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) and expression of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-gamma coactivator-1α (PGC-1α). These data provide evidence that anthocyanins possess significant protective effects against NASH and mitochondrial defects in response to a MCD diet, with a mechanism maybe through affecting the AMPK/PGC-1α signaling pathways.
Keywords: AMP-activated protein kinase; anthocyanin; mitochondrial dysfunction; nonalcoholic fatty liver disease; oxidative stress.