Novel Organometallic Complex Mitigates Liver Injury caused by a 10-Week High Fat Diet in Adolescent Male Sprague-Dawley Rats
Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease is the most common form of chronic liver disease in the United States. Diets high in saturated fats are known to promote obesity and hepatic steatosis. The consumption of a high fat diet (HFD) can increase the risk factors associated with insulin resistance, which can lead to the onset of diabetes and obesity. A prior study of a soil-derived organometallic complex (OMC) showed that supplementation reduces glucose and body mass in diabetic mice. The goal of this study was to test the efficacy of a similar OMC compound on the mitigation of hepatic steatosis induced from a HFD. Six-week-old male Sprague-Dawley rats (n=42) were divided into the following diet groups: standard rodent chow or 60% kcal from fat high fat diet (mainly lard) for 10-weeks. Rats were further divided into OMC treatment groups with OMC added to their drinking water: 0 mg/ml, 0.6 mg/ml or 3.0mg/ml OMC. At 10 weeks, study animals were euthanized with sodium pentobarbital (200 mg/kg, i.p.) and cardiac plasma as well as liver samples were collected and stored at -80° C until further analyses. Plasma ALT and AST as well as liver triglyceride and free glycerol concentrations were measured using commercially available kits. To assess cellular injury, aspartate transaminase (AST; released mainly from injured cardiac and liver cells) and alanine transaminase (ALT; released mainly from injured liver cells) were examined. Rats fed HFD had elevated plasma ALT activity, which was prevented by treatment with the high dose of OMC (p<0.05). No changes in plasma AST activity were detected. Examination of liver triglyceride and free glycerol concentrations showed increased fat accumulation in the liver of rats consuming HFD (Two-Way ANOVA, p<0.001). OMC did not prevent this increase. These findings suggest that, although OMC does not prevent the accumulation of lipids in the liver of rats fed HFD, it does mitigate liver injury resulting from excess dietary intake of saturated fats.