Effect of insulin-sensitizing agents in combination with ezetimibe, and valsartan in rats with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease

Nimer Assy, Masha Grozovski, Ilana Bersudsky, Sergio Szvalb, Osamah Hussein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Scopus citations


Aim: To assess whether treatment with insulin-sensitizing agents (ISAs) in combination with ezetimibe and valsartan have greater effect on hepatic fat content and lipid peroxidation compared to monotherapy in the methionine choline-deficient diet (MCDD) rat model of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). Methods: Rats (n = 6 per group) were treated with different drugs, including MCDD only, MCDD diet with either metformin (200 mg/kg), rosiglitazone (3 mg/kg), metformin plus rosiglitazone (M+R), ezetimibe (2 mg/kg), valsartan (2 mg/kg), or combination of all drugs for a total of 15 wk. Liver histology, lipids, parameters of oxidative stress and TNF-alpha were measured. Results: Fatty liver (FL) rats demonstrated severe hepatic fatty infiltration (> 91% fat), with an increase in hepatic TG (+1263%, P < 0.001), hepatic cholesterol (+245%, P < 0.03), hepatic MDA levels (+225%, P < 0.001), serum TNF-alpha (17.8 ± 10 vs 7.8 ± 0.0, P < 0.001), but a decrease in hepatic alpha tocopherol (-74%, P < 0.001) as compared to the control rats. Combination therapy with all drugs produced a significant decrease in liver steatosis (-54%), hepatic TG (-64%), hepatic cholesterol (-31%) and hepatic MDA (-70%), but increased hepatic alpha tocopherol (+443%) as compared to FL rats. Combination therapy with ISA alone produced a smaller decrease in liver steatosis (-32% vs -54%, P < 0.001) and in hepatic MDA levels (-55% vs -70%, P < 0.01), but a similar decrease in hepatic lipids when compared with the all drugs combination. TNF-alpha levels decreased significantly in all treatment groups except in ISA group. Conclusion: Combination therapies have a greater effect on liver fat content as compared to monotherapy. Rosiglitazone appears to improve hepatic steatosis to a greater extent than metformin.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4369-4376
Number of pages8
JournalWorld Journal of Gastroenterology
Issue number27
StatePublished - 21 Jul 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Ezetimibe
  • Fatty liver
  • Insulin resistance
  • Metformin
  • Methionine choline-deficient diet
  • Rosiglitazone
  • Valsartan


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