A low iron diet protects from steatohepatitis in a mouse model
journal contributionposted on 2023-05-20, 23:18 authored by Salaye, L, Bychkova, I, Sink, S, Kovalic, AJ, Bharadwaj, MS, Lorenzo, F, Jain, S, Harrison, AV, Davis, AT, Turnbull, K, Meegalla, NT, Lee, SH, Cooksey, R, Donati, GL, Kylie KavanaghKylie Kavanagh, Bonkovsky, HL, McClain, DA
High tissue iron levels are a risk factor for multiple chronic diseases including type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). To investigate causal relationships and underlying mechanisms, we used an established NAFLD model-mice fed a high fat diet with supplemental fructose in the water ("fast food", FF). Iron did not affect excess hepatic triglyceride accumulation in the mice on FF, and FF did not affect iron accumulation compared to normal chow. Mice on low iron are protected from worsening of markers for non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), including serum transaminases and fibrotic gene transcript levels. These occurred prior to the onset of significant insulin resistance or changes in adipokines. Transcriptome sequencing revealed the major effects of iron to be on signaling by the transforming growth factor beta (TGF-β) pathway, a known mechanistic factor in NASH. High iron increased fibrotic gene expression in vitro, demonstrating that the effect of dietary iron on NASH is direct. Conclusion: A lower tissue iron level prevents accelerated progression of NAFLD to NASH, suggesting a possible therapeutic strategy in humans with the disease.
Department/SchoolTasmanian School of Medicine
Place of publicationSwitzerland
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