Vitamin E Ameliorates Lipid Metabolism in Mice with Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease via Nrf2/CES1 Signaling Pathway

  • Wenxi He
  • Yanjiao Xu
  • Xiuhua Ren
  • Dong Xiang
  • Kai Lei
  • Chengliang Zhang
  • Dong LiuEmail author
Original Article



Vitamin E has been reported to have a beneficial effect on nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD); however, the underlying mechanism of action has not yet been clearly defined.


We aimed to evaluate the effects and mechanisms of vitamin E on lipid and glucose homeostasis both in vivo and in vitro.


An NAFLD model was established in C57BL/6 mice fed a 30% fructose solution for 8 weeks. Subsequently, NAFLD mice were given vitamin E (70 mg/kg) for 2 weeks. In addition, L02 cells were treated with 5 mM fructose and 100 nM vitamin E to explore the potential mechanisms of action.


Vitamin E reversed the impaired glucose tolerance of fructose-treated mice. Histopathological examination showed that liver steatosis was significantly relieved in vitamin E-treated mice. These effects may be attributed to the upregulation of nuclear factor erythroid-2-related factor 2 (Nrf2), carboxylesterase 1 (CES1), and downregulated proteins involved in lipid synthesis by vitamin E treatment. In vivo, vitamin E also significantly reduced lipid accumulation in fructose-treated L02 cells, and the Nrf2 inhibitor ML385 reversed the protective effects of vitamin E.


These data indicated that the therapeutic effects of vitamin E on lipid and glucose homeostasis may be associated with activation of the Nrf2/CES1 signaling pathway.


Carboxylesterase 1 Fructose Glucose homeostasis Lipid Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease Vitamin E 



This study was supported by National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC) (No. 81670521), Hubei provincial health and Family Planning Commission (No. ZY2019Z003), Hubei Provincial Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 2018CFB583), and National Major Scientific and Technological Special Project for “Significant New Drugs Development” (No. 2017ZX09304022).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no competing interests or non-financial competing interests. All authors agree to publish.

Supplementary material

10620_2019_5657_MOESM1_ESM.docx (286 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 282 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Wenxi He
    • 1
  • Yanjiao Xu
    • 1
  • Xiuhua Ren
    • 1
  • Dong Xiang
    • 1
  • Kai Lei
    • 1
  • Chengliang Zhang
    • 1
  • Dong Liu
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Pharmacy, Tongji Hospital, Tongji Medical CollegeHuazhong University of Science and TechnologyWuhanChina

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