Application of metabonomics on an experimental model of fibrosis and cirrhosis induced by thioacetamide in rats

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Metabonomics has already been used to discriminate different pathological states in biological fields. The metabolic profiles of chronic experimental fibrosis and cirrhosis induction in rats were investigated using 1H NMR spectroscopy of liver extracts and serum combined with pattern recognition techniques.Rats were continuously administered with thioacetamide (TAA) in the drinking water (300 mg TAA/L), and sacrificed on 1st, 2nd, and 3rd month of treatment. 1H NMR spectra of aqueous and lipid liver extracts, together with serum were subjected to Principal Component Analysis (PCA). Liver portions were also subjected to histopathological examination and biochemical determination of malondialdehyde (MDA).Liver fibrosis and cirrhosis were progressively induced in TAA-treated rats, verified by the histopathological examination and the alterations of MDA levels. TAA administration revealed a number of changes in the 1H NMR spectra compared to control samples. The performance of PCA in liver extracts and serum, discriminated the control samples from the fibrotic and cirrhotic ones.Metabolic alterations revealed in NMR spectra during experimental liver fibrosis and cirrhosis induction, characterize the stage of fibrosis and could be illustrated by subsequent PCA of the spectra. Additionally, the PCA plots of the serum samples presented marked clustering during fibrosis progression and could be extended in clinical diagnosis for the management of cirrhotic patients.

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