In vivo assessment of hepatic triglycerides in murine non-alcoholic fatty liver disease using magnetic resonance spectroscopy

Ian R. Corbin, Emma E. Furth, Stephen Pickup, Evan S. Siegelman, Edward J. Delikatny

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33 Scopus citations


In vivo 1H magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) was used to examine the progression of fatty liver in two murine models of progressive hepatic steatosis: leptin-deficient obese (ob/ob) mice and mice maintained on a diet deficient in methionine and choline (MCDD). Ob/ob mice displayed high levels of intracellular hepatic triglycerides as early as 9 weeks after birth, as observed with MRS and histopathology. Single voxel spectra of ob/ob liver displayed strong resonances arising from saturated (1.3 ppm) and unsaturated (2.8 and 5.3 ppm) fatty acyl chains that could be resolved in the absence of water suppression. Hepatic inflammation, induced by lipopolysaccharide administration, led to a significant increase in unsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acyl chain resonances (P < 0.05), indicating a change in the composition of hepatic triglycerides in lipid droplets. Mice maintained on the MCDD displayed histological evidence of hepatic steatosis as early as two weeks, progressing to macrovesicular steatohepatitis at 10 weeks. The histological changes were accompanied by significant increases in saturated and unsaturated fatty acyl chain resonances and a significant decrease in the lipid/(water + lipid) ratio (P < 0.05). These results indicate that in vivo 1H MRS may be a suitable method to monitor the progression of steatohepatitis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)757-763
Number of pages7
JournalBiochimica et Biophysica Acta - Molecular and Cell Biology of Lipids
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2009



  • Fatty liver
  • In vivo MR spectroscopy
  • Methionine-choline deficiency
  • Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease
  • Non-alcoholic steatohepatitis
  • Ob/ob mice

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology
  • Molecular Biology

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