Populations with essential hypertension have a high risk of nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). In this study, we investigated the mechanism that underlies the progression of hypertension-associated NASH by comparing differences in the development of high fat and cholesterol (HFC) diet-induced NASH among three strains of rats, i.e., two hypertensive strains comprising spontaneously hypertensive rats and the stroke-prone spontaneously hypertensive 5/Dmcr, and the original Wistar Kyoto rats as the normotensive control. We investigated histopathological changes and molecular signals related to inflammation in the liver after feeding with the HFC diet for 8 weeks. The diet induced severe lobular inflammation and fibrosis in the livers of the hypertensive rats, whereas it only caused mild steatohepatitis in the normotensive rats. An increased activation of proinflammatory signaling (transforming growth factor-β1/mitogenactivated protein kinases pathway) was observed in the hypertensive strains fed with the HFC diet. In addition, the HFC diet suppressed the nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2 pathway in the hypertensive rats and led to lower increases in the hepatic expression of heme oxygenase-1, which has anti-oxidative and anti-inflammatory activities. In conclusion, these signaling pathways might play crucial roles in the development of hypertension-associated NASH.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Food Science
- Nutrition and Dietetics