Protective effects of the carotenoid zeaxanthin in experimental nonalcoholic steatohepatitis

Sherman M. Chamberlain, Joshua D. Hall, Jigneshkumar Patel, Jeffrey R. Lee, Dennis M. Marcus, Subbaramiah Sridhar, Maritza J. Romero, Mohamed Labazi, Robert W. Caldwell, Manuela Bartoli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Fat infiltration and inflammation cause liver injury and fibrosis and may progress to nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) and end-stage liver disease. Currently, there are no effective treatments for NASH. Zeaxanthin is a carotenoid which has been shown to be preferentially accumulated in the adipose tissue and liver. We hypothesized that treatment with zeaxanthin may decrease oxidative stress in the liver and, possibly, halt the inflammation and fibrosis associated with NASH. Here we tested zeaxanthin effects in preventing progression of liver injury in a model of NASH. Mongolian gerbils, fed a methionine-choline-deficient diet, were treated with different doses of zeaxanthin. We assessed histopathological changes by hematoxylin-eosin and Masson trichrome staining and determined oxidative stress by measuring lipid peroxidation. The obtained results show that zeaxanthin significantly prevented NASH progression by decreasing oxidative stress and liver fibrosis, thus suggesting a potential therapeutic application for this carotenoid in the management of NASH.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1460-1464
Number of pages5
JournalDigestive Diseases and Sciences
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1 2009


  • Carotenoid
  • Fatty liver
  • Fibrosis
  • NASH
  • Oxidative stress
  • Zeaxanthin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Gastroenterology


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