Morphometric Analysis of Alcoholic Microvesicular Hepatic Steatosis in Rats

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R. Cornejo; O. Garrido; L. Sáez; C. Bustamante & G. Cartes


A total of 24 female rats, aged 4 months and weighing approximately 250 g, were divided into two groups, called A and B. The group A animals were kept on pellets and water ad libitum and served as controls, while group B animals were fed pellets and given a solution of 40% alcohol dissolved in water, leading to alcoholic multivesicular steatosis. Both groups were kept under these conditions for 60 days. The rats were then euthanized and samples of normal-control and fatty liver were taken and processed for examination by transmission electron microscope. Transmission electron microscope microphotographs of normal and steatotic hepatocytes were obtained with final magnification of 9,500 X. They were subjected to morphometric studies to determine the volumetric fractions of the following cell components: Rough Endoplasmic Reticulum, mitochondria, lipid and glycogen inclusions, and eu- and heterochromatin. In addition, the cell and nucleus areas were quantified and the nucleo cytoplasmic ratio of each cell type was determined. Analysis of the results between normal and alcoholic hepatocytes shows that noticeable differences exist in all the cell components quantified. It is concluded that the effects of the daily consumption of alcohol provoke microvesicular steatosis in the hepatocytes, generating a drastic transformation of their ultrastructure and morphology. This finally leads to functional variations, representing the effects produced by this drug in the hepatocytes.

KEY WORDS: Steatosis; Alcohol; Morphometry; Hepatocyte.

How to cite this article

CORNEJO, R.; GARRIDO, O.; SÁEZ, L.; BUSTAMANTE, C. & CARTES, G. Morphometric analysis of alcoholic microvesicular hepatic steatosis in rats. Int. J. Morphol., 32(2):488-492, 2014.