Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is a liver disorder linked to obesity that is rapidly increasing in incidence worldwide. It is a disorder that ranges in severity; from a benign condition of hepatic steatosis to a potentially deadly one resulting in cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma. It is currently known that NAFLD is strongly associated with various aspects of metabolic syndrome: insulin resistance, elevated triglyceride levels, obesity, and type two diabetes mellitus. The multifactorial pathogenesis of NAFLD is still uncertain and closer attention is needed on the effect of one’s diet on NAFLD. In this study, we directly compare a westernized diet containing high levels of fat and fructose to a diet high in fat and containing cholate using mouse models in order to determine the role of each dietary factor in the incidence and severity of the different stages of NAFLD. We will evaluate the severity of hepatic steatosis and hepatocellular damage via hematoxylin and eosin (H&E) stained liver tissue and the severity of hepatic fibrosis via trichrome-stained liver tissue. Our hypothesis is that mice on the fructose-based diet are expected to have higher levels of hepatic steatosis and hepatocellular damage relative to mice on the cholate-based diet while mice on the cholate-based diet are expected to have higher levels of hepatic fibrosis relative to the fructose-based diet. The results of this study will aid in elucidating and strengthening the connection between one’s diet and the prevalence and severity of NAFLD.

Thesis Completion




Thesis Chair/Advisor

Altomare, Deborah A.


Bachelor of Science (B.S.)


College of Medicine


Burnett School of Biomedical Sciences


College of Medicine



Access Status

Campus Access

Length of Campus-only Access

5 years

Release Date