The so-called “silent” liver disease of NASH ranks third for the leading causes of liver transplants and our global obesity epidemic has only increased the prevalence of NASH. Without an approved NASH treatment, the healthcare industry must explore therapeutic strategies for this unmet medical need.
Animal models of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) have proven helpful in understanding disease progression, developing new treatment options and improving diagnostic techniques. To produce rodent models of NAFLD and NASH, diet manipulation is a useful tool. When choosing dietary features to induce NAFLD pathologies, researchers should consider the animal model, time frame and desired disease outcome.
Dietary methods to induce NAFLD/NASH in rodents can be split into two categories:
1) Feed rodents for longer periods of time to induce obesity, metabolic syndrome and mild NASH
2) Feed a nutrient deficient diet to induce hepatic features of severe NASH in a relatively short period of time, without inducing metabolic symptoms such as obesity and insulin resistance
Exploring these dietary methods in more detail will help you to make informed decisions about the therapeutic strategies available.+ Read more