Untargeted metabonomics reveals intervention effects of chicory polysaccharide in a rat model of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease

Int J Biol Macromol. 2019 May 1:128:363-375. doi: 10.1016/j.ijbiomac.2019.01.141. Epub 2019 Jan 25.


In the current study, serum metabolomics techniques were used to evaluate the potential mechanism of the effect of chicory polysaccharides in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) rats. A rat model of NAFLD was constructed according to the histopathological data and biochemical parameters, while the underlying mechanisms of high-fat diet (HFD) induced NAFLD and the therapeutic effects of chicory polysaccharides (CP) were studied by the adoption of serum metabolomics. The serum metabolites were analyzed by GC/MS. Multivariate statistical approaches such as principal component analysis, revealed significant differences with HFD model and CP groups against the control. Results indicated that CP plays a regulatory role in the occurrence of NAFLD. Meantime, a total of 65 candidate biomarkers were screened and identified. Cluster analysis, enrichment analysis and metabolic pathway analysis of differential metabolites also indicated that amino acid metabolism and fatty acid biosynthesis in NAFLD rats, the β-oxidation and urea cycle of very long-chain fatty acids were mainly disturbed when compared against the control group. The corresponding metabolic pathways in the CP group were relieved compared against the NAFLD rats. These results showed that untargeted metabonomics helps to explain intervention effects of chicory polysaccharide with the rat model of NAFLD.

Keywords: Chicory polysaccharide; Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease; Serum metabonomic.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biopsy
  • Body Weight / drug effects
  • Cichorium intybus / chemistry*
  • Diet, High-Fat / adverse effects
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Liver / drug effects
  • Liver / pathology
  • Male
  • Metabolomics*
  • Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease / blood
  • Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease / chemically induced
  • Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease / metabolism*
  • Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease / pathology
  • Polysaccharides / pharmacology*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley


  • Polysaccharides