Liver Int.: co-auth.: W.Wahli

Liver Int. 2017 Nov 21. doi: 10.1111/liv.13634. [Epub ahead of print]

Dual PPARα/γ Agonist Saroglitazar Improves Liver Histopathology and Biochemistry in Experimental NASH Models.



Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) are common clinico-pathological conditions that affect millions of patients worldwide. In this study, the efficacy of saroglitazar, a novel PPARα/γ agonist, was assessed in models of NAFLD/NASH.


HepG2 cells treated with palmitic acid (PA;0.75 mM) showed decreased expression of various antioxidant biomarkers (SOD1, SOD2, glutathione peroxidase and catalase) and increased expression of inflammatory markers (TNFα,IL1β and IL6). These effects were blocked by saroglitazar, pioglitazone and fenofibrate (all tested at 10μM concentration). Furthermore, these agents reversed PA-mediated changes in mitochondrial dysfunction, ATP production, NFkB phosphorylation and stellate cell activation in HepG2 and HepG2-LX2 Co-culture studies. In mice with choline-deficient high-fat diet-induced NASH, saroglitazar reduced hepatic steatosis, inflammation, ballooning and prevented development of fibrosis. It also reduced serum alanine aminotransferase, aspartate aminotransferase and expression of inflammatory and fibrosis biomarkers. In this model, the reduction in the overall NAFLD activity score by saroglitazar (3 mg/kg) was significantly more prominent than pioglitazone (25 mg/kg) and fenofibrate (100 mg/kg). Pioglitazone and fenofibrate did not show any improvement in steatosis, but partially improved inflammation and liver function. Anti-fibrotic effect of saroglitazar (4 mg/kg) was also observed in carbon tetrachloride-induced fibrosis model.


Saroglitazar, a dual PPARα/γ agonist with predominant PPARα activity, shows an overall improvement in NASH. The effects of saroglitazar appear better than pure PPARα agonist, fenofibrate and PPARγ agonist pioglitazone. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.


NAFLD ; NASH ; Dual-PPAR agonist; Saroglitazar

PMID: 29164820