Enhancing hepatic fibrosis in spontaneously hypertensive rats fed a choline-deficient diet: a follow-up report on long-term effects of oxidative stress in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease

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Abstract

Background

We previously reported a model of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) using spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHRs), fed a choline-deficient (CD) diet for 5 weeks, that hepatic steatosis but not fibrosis is developed through oxidative stress. To determine the relationship between hypertension and hepatic fibrosis in NAFLD, we examined whether long-term CD diet leads to hepatic fibrosis through oxidative stress.

Methods

Eight-week-old male SHR and normotensive Wistar Kyoto rats (WKYs) were fed a CD diet for 5 or 20 weeks, then liver histology and hepatic expression of genes related to lipid metabolism, fibrosis, and oxidative stress were assessed. Oxidative stress was assessed by hepatic thiobarbituric acid reactive substance (TBARS) levels.

Results

After 5 weeks on CD diet, prominent hepatic steatosis and decrease in expression of genes for lipid metabolism were observed in SHRs as compared with WKYs. SHRs on a CD diet demonstrated a downregulated expression of genes for antioxidants, along with significant increases in hepatic TBARS. After 20 weeks on CD diet, SHRs demonstrated severe liver fibrosis and upregulated expressions of genes for fibrosis when compared with WKY.

Conclusion

Hypertension precipitated hepatic steatosis, and further, acts as an enhancer in NAFLD progression to liver fibrosis through oxidative stress.

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