Raman spectroscopy analysis of lipid droplets content, distribution and saturation level in Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease in mice

Kamila Kochan, Edyta Maslak, Christoph Krafft, Renata Kostogrys, Stefan Chlopicki, Malgorzata Baranska

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45 Citations (Scopus)


Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD) is a common liver disorder, characterized by an excessive lipids deposition within the hepatic tissue. Due to the lack of clear-cut symptoms and optimal diagnostic method, the actual prevalence of NAFLD and its pathogenesis remains unclear, especially in the early stages of progression. In the presented work confocal Raman microspectroscopy was used to investigate alterations in the chemical composition of the NAFLD-affected liver. We have investigated two NAFLD models, representative for macrovesicular and microvesicular steatosis, induced by High Fat Diet (60 kcal %) and Low Carbohydrate High Protein Diet (LCHP), respectively. In both models we confirmed the development of NAFLD, manifested by the presence of lipid droplets (LDs), but of different sizes. Model of macrovesicular steatosis was characterized by large LDs, whereas in the microvesicular steatosis model small droplets were found. In both models, however, we observed a significant decrease in the degree of unsaturation of lipids, in comparison to the control. In addition, for both models, the impact of medical treatment with selected drugs (perindopril and nicotinic acid, respectively) was tested, indicating a significant influence of medicine not only on the occurrence and size of the droplets, but also on their composition. Inboth cases the drug treatment resulted in an increase of the degree of unsaturation of lipids forming droplets. Confocal Raman microspectroscopy was proven to be a powerful tool providing detailed insight into selected areas of hepatic tissue, following the NAFLD pathogenesis and diagnostic potential of the applied drugs. This work presents a confocal Raman microspectroscopic study of the alterations in the composition of NAFLD-affected liver. We confirm the NAFLD development, manifested by the presence of lipid droplets of different sizes, in models of macrovesicular and microvesicular steatosis. In both we observe a significant decrease in the degree of unsaturation of lipids, compared to control. These changes are reversed in the initial stage of medical treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)597-609
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Biophotonics
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • KMC
  • Lipid droplets
  • Liver
  • Raman mapping

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