Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is the leading cause of pediatric chronic liver condition, caused by hepatic inflammation, insulin resistance and steatosis. We hypothesize that prolonged intake of diets rich in carbohydrates, specifically fructose, will induce NAFLD in infants, whereas probiotics may ameliorate the symptoms of the disease. To assess the effect of dietary fructose and probiotics in the pathology of the disease, 24 leptin resistant neonate pigs will be assigned to 1 of 4 treatment diets for 10 weeks: 1) control (CON), 2) high fructose (HF), 3) CON + probiotics, 4) HF + probiotics. Animals will be fed 40 mL · kg BW-1 at 6-h intervals 4 times per day. Body weight gain and insulin sensitivity (measured by oral glucose tolerance test) will be assessed through the study. On week 10, animals will be euthanized and liver tissue will be collected for Western Blot and histology analyses to assess protein activation of hepatic insulin and de novo lipogenesis pathways, as well as inflammation and fat accumulation in liver. If our hypothesis is true, we expect to show that compared to HFF, both CON and HFF + probiotic groups will show decreased weight gain, intrahepatic fat accumulation, and activation of de novo lipogenesis pathway in liver, along with an increase in insulin pathway activation and insulin sensitivity in neonatal piglets.
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