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Predominant evidence of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is the accumulation of excess lipids in the liver. A small group with NAFLD may have a more serious condition named non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). However, there is a lack of investigation of the accumulated lipids with spatial and molecular information. Raman microscopy has the potential to characterise molecular species and structures of lipids based on molecular vibration and can achieve high spatial resolution at the organelle level. In this study, we aim to demonstrate the feasibility of Raman microscopy for the investigation of NAFLD based on the molecular features of accumulated lipids. By applying the Raman microscopy to the liver of the NASH model mice, we succeeded in visualising the distribution of lipid droplets (LDs) in hepatocytes. The detailed analysis of Raman spectra revealed the difference of molecular structural features of the LDs, such as the degree of saturation of lipids in the LDs. We also found that the inhomogeneous distribution of cholesterol in the LDs depending on the histology of lipid accumulation. We visualised and characterised the lipids of NASH model mice by Raman microscopy at organelle level. Our findings demonstrated that the Raman imaging analysis was feasible to characterise the NAFLD in terms of the molecular species and structures of lipids.
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srep_10_18548.pdf 1.71 MB
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