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Año 2017 / Volumen 109 / Número 7


Characterization of liver changes in ZSF1 rats, an animal model of metabolic syndrome


Marta Borges Canha, José Pedro Portela-Cidade, Glória Conceição, Cláudia Sousa-Mendes, Sara Leite, Dulce Fontoura, Daniel Moreira-Gonçalves, Inês Falcão-Pires, André Lourenço, Adelino Leite-Moreira, Pedro Pimentel-Nunes,

Background: The non-alcoholic fatty liver disease is the hepatic counterpart of the metabolic syndrome. ZSF1 rats are a metabolic syndrome animal model in which liver changes have not been described yet. Aim: The characterization of liver histological and innate immunity changes in ZSF1 rats. Methods: Five groups of rats were included (n = 7 each group): healthy Wistar-Kyoto control rats (Ctrl), hypertensive ZSF1 lean (Ln), ZSF1 obese rats with a normal diet (Ob), ZSF1 obese rates with a high-fat diet (Ob-HFD), and ZSF1 obese rats with low-intensity exercise training (Ob-Ex). The animals were sacrificed at 20 weeks of age, their livers were collected for: a) measurements of the area of steatosis, fibrosis and inflammation (histomorphological analysis); and b) innate immunity (toll-like receptor [TLR] 2, TLR4, peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ [PPARγ], toll interacting protein [TOLLIP]) and inflammatory marker (tumor necrosis factor-alpha [TNFα], interleukin 1 [IL-1]) expression analysis by real-time PCR. Results: Ob, Ob-HFD and Ob-Ex were significantly heavier than Ln and Ctrl animals. Ob, Ob-HFD and Ob-Ex animals had impaired glucose tolerance and insulin resistance. ZSF1 Ob, Ob-HFD and Ob-Ex presented a higher degree of steatosis (3,5x; p < 0.05) than Ctrl or ZSF1 Ln rats. Steatohepatitis and fibrosis were not observed in any of the groups. No differences in expression were observed between Ctrl, Ln and Ob animals (except for the significantly higher expression of TOLLIP observed in the Ob vs Ln comparison). Ob-HFD and Ob-Ex rats showed increased expression of PPARγ and TOLLIP as compared to other groups. However, both groups also showed increased expression of TLR2 and TLR4. Nevertheless, this did not translate into a differential expression of TNFα or IL-1 in any of the groups. Conclusion: The ZSF1 model is associated with liver steatosis but not with steatohepatitis or a significantly increased expression of innate immunity or inflammation markers.

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Española de Endoscopia Digestiva y la Asociación Española de Ecografía Digestiva
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