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Vitamin D reduces fatty liver problems in rats fed a high fat diet – June 2018

Early effects of high-fat diet, extra-virgin olive oil and vitamin D in a sedentary rat model of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.

Histol Histopathol. 2018 Jun 1:18008. doi: 10.14670/HH-18-008. [Epub ahead of print]
Trovato FM1, Castrogiovanni P2, Szychlinska MA2, Purrello F1, Musumeci G3.
1 Dept of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Internal Medicine Unit, University of Catania, Catania, Italy.
2 Dept of Biomedical and Biotechnological Sciences, Human Anatomy and Histology Section, University of Catania, Catania, Italy.
3 Dept of Biomedical and Biotechnological Sciences, Human Anatomy and Histology Section, University of Catania, Catania, Italy. g.musumeci at unict.it.

Western high-fat diet is related to metabolic syndrome and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). Decreased levels of Vitamin D (VitD) and IGF-1 and their mutual relationship were also reported. We aimed to evaluate whether different dietary profiles, containing or not VitD, may exert different effects on liver tissue.

Twenty-eight male rats were fed for 10 weeks by different dietary regimens:

  • R, regular diet;
  • R-DS and R-DR, regular diet with respectively VitD supplementation (DS) and restriction (DR);
  • HFB-DS and HFB-DR (41% energy from fat), high fat (butter) diet;
  • HFEVO-DS and HFEVO-DR (41% energy from fat), high fat (Extra-virgin olive oil-EVO) diet.

Severity of NAFLD was assessed by NAFLD Activity Score. Collagen type I, IL-1beta, VitD-receptor, DKK-1 and IGF1 expressions were evaluated by immunohistochemistry.

All samples showed a NAS between 0 and 2 considered not diagnostic of steatohepatitis. Collagen I, although weakly expressed, was statistically greater in HFB-DS and HFB-DR groups.
IL-1 was mostly expressed in rats fed with HFBs and HFEVOs and R-DR, and almost absent in R and R-DS diets. IGF-1 and DKK-1 were reduced in HFBs and HFEVOs diets and in particular in DR groups.

A short-term high-fat diet could damage liver tissue in terms of inflammation and collagen I deposition, setting the basis for the subsequent steatohepatitis, still not identifiable anatomopathologically.
Vitamin D restriction increases inflammation and reduces the expression of IGF-1 in the liver, worsening the fat-induced changing. EVOO seems be protective against the collagen I production.

PMID: 29855033 DOI: 10.14670/HH-18-008

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