Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) includes a broad spectrum of liver diseases characterized by steatosis, inflammation, and fibrosis. This study aimed to investigate the potential of dipeptidyl peptidase-4 inhibitors and sodium-glucose cotransporter 2 inhibitors in alleviating the progression of NAFLD. The NAFLD model was generated by feeding male C57BL/6J mice a choline-deficient, L-amino acid-defined, high-fat diet (CDAHFD) for 7 weeks. After 2 weeks of CDAHFD feeding, the NAFLD model mice were assigned to four groups, namely (ⅰ) VEHICLE, (ⅱ) gemigliptin (GEMI), (ⅲ) empagliflozin (EMPA), and (ⅳ) GEMI + EMPA. For the next 5 weeks, mice received the vehicle or the drug based upon the group to which they belonged. Thereafter, the triglyceride concentration, extent of fibrosis, and the expression of genes encoding inflammatory cytokines, chemokines, and antioxidant enzymes were analyzed in the livers of mice. The NAFLD activity score and hepatic fibrosis grade were assessed via hematoxylin and eosin and Sirius Red staining of the liver tissue samples. All mice belonging to the GEMI, EMPA, and GEMI + EMPA groups showed improvements in the accumulation of liver triglycerides and the expression of inflammatory cytokines and chemokines. Additionally, the oxidative stress was reduced due to inhibition of the c-Jun N-terminal kinase pathway and upregulation of the antioxidant enzymes. Furthermore, in these three groups, the galectin-3 and interleukin 33-induced activity of tumor necrosis factor-alpha was inhibited, thereby preventing the progression of liver fibrosis. These findings suggest that the GEMI, EMPA, and GEMI + EMPA treatments ameliorate hepatic steatosis, inflammation, oxidative stress, and fibrosis in CDAHFD-induced NAFLD mouse models.
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