High-fructose feeding does not induce steatosis or non-alcoholic fatty liver disease in pigs

Nikolaj H. Schmidt, Pia Svendsen, Julián Albarrán-Juárez, Søren K. Moestrup, Jacob Fog Bentzon*


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Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is an increasingly prevalent condition that has been linked to high-fructose corn syrup consumption with induction of hepatic de novo lipogenesis (DNL) as the suggested central mechanism. Feeding diets very high in fructose (> 60%) rapidly induce several features of NAFLD in rodents, but similar diets have not yet been applied in larger animals, such as pigs. With the aim to develop a large animal NAFLD model, we analysed the effects of feeding a high-fructose (HF, 60% w/w) diet for four weeks to castrated male Danish Landrace-York-Duroc pigs. HF feeding upregulated expression of hepatic DNL proteins, but levels were low compared with adipose tissue. No steatosis or hepatocellular ballooning was seen on histopathological examination, and plasma levels of transaminases were similar between groups. Inflammatory infiltrates and the amount of connective tissue was slightly elevated in liver sections from fructose-fed pigs, which was corroborated by up-regulation of macrophage marker expression in liver homogenates. Supported by RNA-profiling, quantitative protein analysis, histopathological examination, and biochemistry, our data suggest that pigs, contrary to rodents and humans, are protected against fructose-induced steatosis by relying on adipose tissue rather than liver for DNL.

TidsskriftScientific Reports
Antal sider10
StatusUdgivet - 2. feb. 2021

Bibliografisk note

Funding Information:
We thank Lisa M. Røge and Dorte W. Qualmann, Department of Clinical Medicine, Aarhus University, for histological processing and Torben Larsen, Department of Animal Science, Aarhus University, for biochemical assistance. The authors declare that this study was carried out in compliance with the ARRIVE guidelines. The study was supported by a Synergy Grant from the Novo Nordisk Foundation (NNF14OC0011537) and by the Danish National Resarch Foundation (ATLAS center). The CNIC is supported by the Instituto de Salud Carlos III (ISCIII), the Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación (MCIN) and the Pro CNIC Foundation, and is a Severo Ochoa Center of Excellence (SEV-2015-0505).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021, The Author(s).

Copyright 2021 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


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