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Open Access Updates on Dietary Models of Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease: Current Studies and Insights

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Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is a disease of increasing interest, as its prevalence is on the rise. NAFLD has been linked to metabolic syndrome, which is becoming more common due to the Western diet. Because NAFLD can lead to cirrhosis and related complications including hepatocellular carcinoma, the increasing prevalence is concerning, and medical therapy aimed at treating NAFLD is of great interest. Researchers studying the effects of medical therapy on NAFLD use dietary mouse models. The two main types of mouse model diets are the methionine- and choline-deficient (MCD) diet and the Western-like diet (WD). Although both induce NAFLD, the mechanisms are very different. We reviewed several studies conducted within the last 5 years that used MCD diet or WD mouse models in order to mimic this disease in a way most similar to humans. The MCD diet inconsistently induces NAFLD and fibrosis and does not completely induce metabolic syndrome. Thus, the clinical significance of the MCD diet is questionable. In contrast, WD mouse models consisting of high fat, cholesterol, and a combination of high-fructose corn syrup, sucrose, fructose, or glucose not only lead to metabolic syndrome but also induce NAFLD with fibrosis, making these choices most suitable for research.
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Keywords: Fibrosis; Metabolic syndrome; Methionine- and choline-deficient diet (MCD); Mouse model; Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD); Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis; Western diet

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Scott & White Digestive Disease Research Center, Baylor Scott & White Health, Temple, TX, USA 2: Research, Central Texas Veterans Health Care System, Temple, TX, USA 3: Department of Medicine, Texas A&M Health Science Center, Temple, Texas, USA

Publication date: March 21, 2018

This article was made available online on November 2, 2017 as a Fast Track article with title: "Updates on Dietary Models of Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease: Current Studies and Insights".

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  • Gene Expression The Journal of Liver Research will publish articles in all aspects of hepatology. Hepatology, as a research discipline, has seen unprecedented growth especially in the cellular and molecular mechanisms of hepatic health and disease, which continues to have a major impact on understanding liver development, stem cells, carcinogenesis, tissue engineering, injury, repair, regeneration, immunology, metabolism, fibrosis, and transplantation. Continued research and improved understanding in these areas will have a meaningful impact on liver disease prevention, diagnosis, and treatment. The existing journal Gene Expression has expanded its focus to become Gene Expression The Journal of Liver Research to meet this growing demand. In its revised and expanded scope, the journal will publish high-impact original articles, reviews, short but complete articles, and special articles (editorials, commentaries, opinions) on all aspects of hepatology, making it a unique and invaluable resource for readers interested in this field. The expanded team, led by an Editor-in-Chief who is uniquely qualified and a renowned expert, along with a dynamic and functional editorial board, is determined to make this a premier journal in the field of hepatology.

    From Volume 16, Gene Expression The Journal of Liver Research is Open Access under the terms of the Creative Commons CC BY-NC-ND license.

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