Temporal Development of Dyslipidemia and Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD) in Syrian Hamsters Fed a High-Fat, High-Fructose, High-Cholesterol Diet.


Svop Jensen V(1)(2), Fledelius C(2), Max Wulff E(3), Lykkesfeldt J(1), Hvid H(4).
Author information:
(1)Department of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen, Ridebanevej 9, DK-1870 Frederiksberg, Denmark.
(2)Diabetes Pharmacology 1, Novo Nordisk A/S, Novo Nordisk Park 1, DK-2760 Måløv, Denmark.
(3)Gubra ApS, Hørsholm Kongevej 11B, DK-2970 Hørsholm, Denmark.
(4)Pathology & Imaging, Novo Nordisk A/S, Novo Nordisk Park 1, DK-2760 Måløv, Denmark.


The use of translationally relevant animal models is essential, also within the field of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). Compared to frequently used mouse and rat models, the hamster may provide a higher degree of physiological similarity to humans in terms of lipid profile and lipoprotein metabolism. However, the effects in hamsters after long-term exposure to a NASH diet are not known. Male Syrian hamsters were fed either a high-fat, high-fructose, high-cholesterol diet (NASH diet) or control diets for up to 12 months. Plasma parameters were assessed at two weeks, one, four, eight and 12 months and liver histopathology and biochemistry was characterized after four, eight and 12 months on the experimental diets. After two weeks, hamsters on NASH diet had developed marked dyslipidemia, which persisted for the remainder of the study. Hepatic steatosis was present in NASH-fed hamsters after four months, and hepatic stellate cell activation and fibrosis was observed within four to eight months, respectively, in agreement with progression towards NASH. In summary, we demonstrate that hamsters rapidly develop dyslipidemia when fed a high-fat, high-fructose, high-cholesterol diet. Moreover, within four to eight months, the NASH-diet induced hepatic changes with resemblance to human NAFLD.