Cholesterol induces lipoprotein lipase expression in a tree shrew (Tupaia belangeri chinensis) model of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease

Sci Rep. 2015 Nov 2;5:15970. doi: 10.1038/srep15970.


Animal models are indispensible to investigate the pathogenesis and treatments of non-alcoholic fatty liver diseases (NAFLD). Altered cholesterol metabolism has been implicated into the pathogenesis of NAFLD. Here, using high fat, cholesterol and cholate diet (HFHC), we generated a novel tree shrew (Tupaia belangeri chinensis) model of NAFLD, which displayed dyslipidemia with increased levels of plasma alanine aminotransferase (ALT) and aspartate aminotransferase (AST), total cholesterol (TC), low density lipoprotein-cholesterol (LDL-c) and high density lipoprotein-cholesterol (HDL-c), but decreased level of triglycerides (TG). Liver histopathology and genes expression indicated that HFHC diet successfully induced liver steatosis to inflammation and fibrosis progressively within 10 weeks. Moreover, HFHC induced the transcriptional expression of lipoprotein lipase (lpl) in the liver, but repressed the expression of LDL receptor, and the endogenous synthesis pathway and excretion of cholesterol. Notably, Poloxamer 407 (P-407) inhibition of LPL improved the severity of steatosis and reduced inflammation. These results illustrated that LPL plays an important role in cholesterol metabolism in NAFLD, and the tree shrew may be a valuable animal model for further research into NAFLD.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Alanine Transaminase / blood
  • Animals
  • Aspartate Aminotransferases / blood
  • Cholesterol / blood*
  • Cholesterol, HDL / blood
  • Diet
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Dyslipidemias / metabolism
  • Inflammation / metabolism
  • Lipid Metabolism / physiology
  • Lipoprotein Lipase / metabolism*
  • Lipoproteins, LDL / blood
  • Liver / metabolism
  • Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease / blood
  • Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease / metabolism*
  • Shrews / metabolism*
  • Triglycerides / blood
  • Tupaia / metabolism*


  • Cholesterol, HDL
  • Lipoproteins, LDL
  • Triglycerides
  • Cholesterol
  • Aspartate Aminotransferases
  • Alanine Transaminase
  • Lipoprotein Lipase