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International Journal of Hepatology
Volume 2011 (2011), Article ID 136816, 12 pages
Research Article

NCX 1000 Alone or in Combination with Vitamin E Reverses Experimental Nonalcoholic Steatohepatitis in the Rat Similarly to UDCA

1Natural Health Products and Metabolic Diseases Laboratory, Department of Pharmacology Université de Montréal and Montreal Diabetes Research Center, Montreal, QC, Canada H3C 3J7
2Institute of Nutraceutical and Functional Foods, Laval University, Sillery, QC, Canada GIV 0A6
3Department of Pharmacology, Université de Montréal, Montreal, QC, Canada H3C 3J7
4R & D Axcan Pharma Inc, Mont-St-Hilaire, QC, Canada J3H 6C4

Received 17 February 2011; Accepted 20 June 2011

Academic Editor: Takuji Torimura

Copyright © 2011 Yara Haddad et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


We explored the therapeutic effect of NCX 1000, a derivative of ursodeoxycholic acid (UDCA) with nitric oxide (NO) donating properties, alone or in combination with vitamin E, in an experimental model of NASH in the rat. Methods. A control group was fed a standard liquid diet (Control), and the NASH groups were fed a high-fat liquid diet for 12 weeks without (NASH) or with simultaneous daily gavage with either NCX 1000 at 15 or 30 mg/kg (N15 and N30, resp.), or N15 plus vitamin E 100 mg/kg (N15  + VitE) for the last 6 weeks; UDCA 17.2 mg/kg was used as a reference. Results. NASH rats developed all key features of the disease. Treatments with N30 improved liver histology, decreased lipid peroxidation, and completely suppressed increases in LDH release, plasma insulin, and TNF-α. It also decreased O2- release and returned liver weight and glutathione back to normal. All effects were similar to the reference treatment, UDCA. The N15 treatment was less efficient than the N30 group, but became comparable to the latter when combined to vitamin E. Conclusion. Our study demonstrates that NCX 1000 has potent cytoprotective, antioxidant, and hypoinsulinemic properties that can be enhanced by combination with vitamin E.