Steatosis and collagen content in experimental liver cirrhosis are affected by dietary monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids

Scand J Gastroenterol. 1997 Apr;32(4):350-6. doi: 10.3109/00365529709007683.


Background and methods: We used thioacetamide administered orally to induce cirrhosis in rats, and after these had recovered for 1 and 2 weeks we examined the effects of dietary supplementation with monounsaturated and n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, or with a combination of n-3 and n-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids, on the extent of steatosis and collagen content in the liver.

Results: Nodular cirrhosis, increased collagen content, and lipid accumulation were established after 4 months of treatment with thioacetamide. When the animals were fed a diet rich in oleic acid for 2 weeks, the steatosis and fibrosis decreased. Supplementation with n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids favored reductions in collagen content but did not reduce the fat accumulation. With a diet supplemented with a mixture of n-3 and n-6 fatty acids we found no reduction in either lipid accumulation or collagen content.

Conclusions: Fibrosis and steatosis may be influenced by dietary fat, and monounsaturated fat appears to influence favorably the histologic recovery of the damaged liver.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Carcinogens
  • Collagen / metabolism
  • Dietary Fats, Unsaturated / therapeutic use*
  • Fatty Acids, Monounsaturated / therapeutic use*
  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3 / therapeutic use*
  • Fatty Acids, Omega-6
  • Fatty Acids, Unsaturated / therapeutic use*
  • Female
  • Lipid Metabolism
  • Liver / metabolism
  • Liver / pathology
  • Liver Cirrhosis, Experimental / chemically induced
  • Liver Cirrhosis, Experimental / diet therapy*
  • Liver Cirrhosis, Experimental / pathology
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Thioacetamide


  • Carcinogens
  • Dietary Fats, Unsaturated
  • Fatty Acids, Monounsaturated
  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3
  • Fatty Acids, Omega-6
  • Fatty Acids, Unsaturated
  • Thioacetamide
  • Collagen