The impact of diet-induced hepatic steatosis in a murine model of hepatic ischemia/reperfusion injury

Kim H.H. Liss, Kyle S. McCommis, Kari T. Chambers, Terri A. Pietka, George G. Schweitzer, Sara L. Park, Ilke Nalbantoglu, Carla J. Weinheimer, Angela M. Hall, Brian N. Finck

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


The prevalence of obesity-associated nonalcoholic fatty liver disease has significantly increased over the past decade, and end-stage liver disease secondary to nonalcoholic steatohepatitis has become 1 of the most common indications for liver transplantation. This both increases the demand for organs and decreases the availability of donor livers deemed suitable for transplantation. Although in the past many steatotic livers were discarded due to concerns over enhanced susceptibility to ischemia/reperfusion injury (IRI) and organ failure, the discrepancy between supply and demand has resulted in increasing use of expanded criteria donor organs including steatotic livers. However, it remains controversial whether steatotic livers can be safely used for transplantation and how best to improve the performance of steatotic grafts. We aimed to evaluate the impact of diet-induced hepatic steatosis in a murine model of IRI. Using a diet of high trans-fat, fructose, and cholesterol (HTF-C) and a diet high in saturated fats, sucrose, and cholesterol (Western diet), we were able to establish models of mixed macrovesicular and microvesicular steatosis (HTF-C) and microvesicular steatosis (Western). We found that the presence of hepatic steatosis, whether it is predominantly macrovesicular or microvesicular, significantly worsens IRI as measured by plasma alanine aminotransferase levels and inflammatory cytokine concentration, and histological evaluation for necrosis. Additionally, we report on a novel finding in which hepatic IRI in the setting of steatosis results in the induction of the necroptosis factors, receptor interacting protein kinase (RIPK) 3, RIPK1, and mixed-lineage kinase domain-like. These data lay the groundwork for additional experimentation to test potential therapeutic approaches to limit IRI in steatotic livers by using a genetically tractable system. Liver Transplantation 24 908–921 2018 AASLD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)908-921
Number of pages14
JournalLiver Transplantation
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2018


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