Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Fast food diet with CCl4 micro-dose induced hepatic-fibrosis –a novel animal model

Tarak K Chheda1, Pratibha Shivakumar1, Satish Kumar Sadasivan1, Harish Chanderasekharan1, Yogananda Moolemath1, Anup M Oommen2, Jagannath R Madanahalli3 and Venkataranganna V Marikunte1*

Author Affiliations

1 Preclinical Development, Connexios Life Sciences Pvt Ltd., Bangalore, India

2 Systems Biology Group, Connexios Life Sciences Pvt Ltd., Bangalore, India

3 Drug Discovery Group, Connexios Life Sciences Pvt Ltd., Bangalore, India

For all author emails, please log on.

BMC Gastroenterology 2014, 14:89  doi:10.1186/1471-230X-14-89

Published: 10 May 2014



Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is defined as a spectrum of conditions ranging from hepatocellular steatosis to steatohepatitis and fibrosis, progressing to cirrhosis, which occur in the absence of excessive alcohol use. Several animal models capture aspects of NAFLD but are limited either in their representation of the disease stages or use for development of therapeutics due to the extended periods of time required to develop full histological features.


Here, we report the development of a novel rat model for NAFLD that addresses some of these limitations. We used a fast food diet (FFD) and a CCl4 micro dose (0.5 ml/kg B.wt) for 8 weeks in Wistar rats. Serological analyses, gene expression profiling and liver histology studies were conducted to investigate the development of steatosis, steatohepatitis and fibrosis in the FFD-CCl4 model when compared to the individual effects of a FFD or a micro dose of CCl4 in rats.


The serum biochemical profile of the FFD-CCl4 model showed an increase in liver injury and fibrosis. This was also accompanied by a significant increase in liver triglycerides (TG), inflammation and oxidative stress. Importantly, we observed extensive fibrosis confirmed by: i) increased gene expression of fibrosis markers and, ii) moderate to severe collagen deposition seen as perisinusoidal and bridging fibrosis using H&E, Trichome and Sirius Red staining.


In summary, we find that the FFD-CCl4 rat model developed NAFLD histological features including, steatosis, inflammation and fibrosis in 8 weeks showing promise as a model that can be used to develop NAFLD therapeutics and liver anti-fibrotics.