Water Soluble Vitamin E Administration in Wistar Rats with Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease

Irene P Tzanetakou1, *, Ilias P Doulamis1, Laskarina-Maria Korou1, George Agrogiannis2, Ioannis S Vlachos1, Alkisti Pantopoulou1, Dimitri P Mikhailidis3, Efstratios Patsouris2, Ioannis Vlachos1, Despina N Perrea1
1 Laboratory for Experimental Surgery and Surgical Research “N. S. Christeas”, University of Athens Medical School, Athens, Greece
2 1st Department of Pathology, School of Medicine, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Athens, Greece
3 Department of Clinical Biochemistry, Royal Free Hospital Campus, University College London Medical School, University College London (UCL), London, UK

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© Tzanetakou et al.; Licensee Bentham Open.

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* Address correspondence to this author at the Department for Experimental Surgery and Surgical Research ‘‘N.S. Christeas’’, Medical School, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece. 15B Agiou Thoma Street, 11527, Athens, Greece; Tel: +30 210 7462501; Fax: +30 210 7462539; E-mail:



A diet rich in fat is associated with hepatic fat deposition [steatosis; non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD)]. The exact cause of NAFLD however, is still unknown. The aim of this study was to assess the effect of a water-soluble formulation of vitamin E on a dietary-induced-NAFLD animal model.


Adult male Wistar rats (n=20) were allocated to 2 groups: Controls (Group A, n=6), which received a standard chow diet for 24 weeks and a High Cholesterol group (HC: n=14), which received a standard chow diet enriched with cholesterol for the first 14 weeks of the experiment (t1). At t1, the HC group was divided into: Group HC(B), which received a high-saturated-fat/high-cholesterol (HSF/HCH) diet and Group HC(C), which followed the same HSF/HCH diet but was also administered water soluble vitamin E (10 IU/kg body weight/day), for 10 more weeks.


At the end of the study, group HC(C) exhibited significantly lower mean total cholesterol (T-CHOL) than group HC(B) (p<0.001). No significant differences were observed between HC(C) and Control groups in blood glucose and serum lipid concentrations. Liver Function Tests did not vary between all groups at the end of the study. Animals in group HC(B) exhibited higher SGOT at the end of the study compared with the beginning of the study (p<0.05). Group HC(B) exhibited the highest scores in steatosis, and grading (according to the NAFLD scoring system) in the histopathological analysis (p≤0.001 in all cases).


Vitamin E seems to exert a hypolipidemic and hepatoprotective role in the presence of a HSF/HCH atherogenic diet in a rat model.

Keywords:: Cholesterol, High saturated fat diet, Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, Steatosis, Vitamin E, Wistar rats..