An Accessible and Pragmatic Experimental Model of Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease

Middle East J Dig Dis. 2016 Apr;8(2):109-15. doi: 10.15171/mejdd.2016.15.


BACKGROUND There is no convenient cheap pragmatic experimental model for Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD)/Nonalcoholic Steatohepatitis (NASH).

Objective: Our objective was to create a pragmatic model of NAFLD/NASH. METHODS Sprague-Dawley rats were fed a high-fat, high sugar homemade diet ad libitum for seven weeks. The high-fat, high sugar diet included 59% of energy derived from fat, 30% from carbohydrates, and 11% from protein. Serum levels of fasting glucose, triglyceride, cholesterol, liver enzymes, insulin, and hepatic tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α) gene expression were determined. Hepatic histology was examined by H&E stain. RESULTS Rats fed the high-fat, high sugar diet developed hepatic steatosis, and a moderate inflammation, which was associated with increased serum levels of liver enzymes, glucose, insulin, triglyceride, cholesterol, and hepatic TNF-α gene expression. CONCLUSION This rat model resembles the key features of human NAFLD/NASH and provides a simple pragmatic experimental model for elucidating the disease prevention and treatment.

Keywords: Diet; Experimental model; NAFLD; NASH; Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease; Rat.