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Fructose Consumption, Lipogenesis, and Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease
Open AccessArticle

Effects of Oral Administration of Silymarin in a Juvenile Murine Model of Non-alcoholic Steatohepatitis

Fondazione Italiana Fegato ONLUS-Centro Studi Fegato, Area Science Park Basovizza Bldg, Q SS 14 Km 163,5, Basovizza, 34149 Trieste, Italy
Università di Udine, Dipartimento di Scienze AgroAlimentari, Ambientali e Animali, Via Sondrio 2/A, 33100 Udine, Italy
IRCCS Burlo Garofolo Paediatric Hospital, Clinical Chemistry Laboratory, 34100 Trieste, Italy
Azienda Ospedaliero-Universitaria “Santa Maria della Misericordia”, Dipartimento di Laboratorio, Istituto di Anatomia Patologica, 33100 Udine, Italy
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Nutrients 2017, 9(9), 1006;
Received: 12 July 2017 / Revised: 7 September 2017 / Accepted: 9 September 2017 / Published: 12 September 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrition and Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease)
The increasing prevalence of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) in adolescents is challenging the global care system. No therapeutic strategies have been defined so far, and changes in the lifestyle remain the only alternative. In this study, we assessed the protective effects of silymarin in a juvenile non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) model and the in vitro effects on fat-laden human hepatocytes. C57Bl/6 mice were exposed to HFHC diet immediately after weaning. After eight weeks, animals showed histological signs of NASH. Silymarin was added to the HFHC diet, the treatment continued for additional 12 weeks and the effects on BMI, hepatomegaly, visceral fat, lipid profile, transaminases, HOMA-IR, steatosis, inflammation, fibrosis, oxidative stress, and apoptosis were determined. The switch from HFHC to control diet was used to mimic life style changes. In vitro experiments were performed in parallel in human hepatocytes. HFHC diet supplemented with silymarin showed a significant improvement in glycemia, visceral fat, lipid profile, and liver fibrosis. Moreover, it reduced (both in vitro and in vivo) ALT, hepatic inflammation, oxidative stress, and apoptosis. Lifestyle changes restored the control group parameters. The data presented show the beneficial effects of the oral administration of silymarin in the absence of changes in the dietary habits in a juvenile model of NASH. View Full-Text
Keywords: NAFLD; NASH; fibrosis; silymarin; in vivo model; in vitro model; therapeutic approach NAFLD; NASH; fibrosis; silymarin; in vivo model; in vitro model; therapeutic approach
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Marin, V.; Gazzin, S.; Gambaro, S.E.; Dal Ben, M.; Calligaris, S.; Anese, M.; Raseni, A.; Avellini, C.; Giraudi, P.J.; Tiribelli, C.; Rosso, N. Effects of Oral Administration of Silymarin in a Juvenile Murine Model of Non-alcoholic Steatohepatitis. Nutrients 2017, 9, 1006.

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