Background: It is widely known that salt is an accelerating factor for the progression of metabolic syndrome and causes cardiovascular diseases, most likely due to its pro-oxidant properties. We hypothesized that excessive salt intake also facilitates the development of nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), which is frequently associated with metabolic syndrome.
Methods: We examined the exacerbating effect of high-salt diet on high-fat diet-induced liver injury in a susceptible model to oxidative stress, apoE knockout and lectin-like oxidized low-density lipoprotein receptor-1 (LOX-1) transgenic mice.
Results: High-salt diet led to NASH in high-fat diet-fed LOX-1 transgenic/apoE knockout mice without affecting high-fat diet-induced dyslipidemia or hepatic triglyceride accumulation. Additionally, a high-salt and high-fat diet stimulated oxidative stress production and inflammatory reaction to a greater extent than did a high-fat diet in the liver of LOX-1 transgenic/apoE knockout mice.
Conclusions: We demonstrated that high-salt diet exacerbated NASH in high-fat diet-fed LOX-1 transgenic /apoE knockout mice and that this effect was associated with the stimulation of oxidative and inflammatory processes; this is the first study to suggest the important role of excessive salt intake in the development of NASH.