Diet-Induced Steatosis | InSphero


Diet-induced Steatosis

Extend your assay window for efficacy testing of anti-steatotic drugs

Various stimuli such as diet, metabolic diseases, drugs, and alcohol can alter hepatic lipid processing, which can induce intracellular accumulation of lipids in hepatocytes, a process called steatosis.

If the stimuli are not discontinued, steatosis can trigger inflammation, resulting in steatohepatitis, eventually progressing to non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) with the onset of fibrosis (1). 3D InSight™ Human Liver Microtissues, comprised of primary hepatocytes, Kupffer cells, and liver endothelial cells, is an ideal model for studying diet-induced steatosis using assays that:

  • Maintain susceptibility to induction of steatosis with free fatty acids in a 3D liver model comprised of primary hepatocytes, Kupffer cells, and liver endothelial cells
  • Assess multi-parametric steatotic endpoints 3D InSight™ Human Liver Microtissues are appropriate for assessment of steatosis-related cell parameters such as intracellular lipid content, reactive oxygen species production, mitochondrial impairment, cell death as well as changes at mRNA and protein levels.
  • Leverage a 14-day assay window to evaluate the efficacy and potency of anti-steatosis drugs using InSphero-certified cell-based assays


  1. Reasor MJ et al. (2006) Expert Opin Drug Saf 5(4); 567-583

Example Data for Steatosis


Low conc.
Oleic Acid

High conc.
Oleic Acid

Oleic acid induces pronounced vesicular steatosis in hepatocytes after 7 days of treatment. Primary human hepatocytes were used to assess the susceptibility of the 3D InSight™ Human Liver Microtissues to free fatty acid-induced steatosis. Phenotypic high-content assay was performed to study steatosis in 3D liver microtissues. Nile Red stained lipids are shown in green, nuclei are shown in blue, membranes are shown in red. Stack imaging was performed on the Opera Phenix™ High-Content Screening system.

InSphero Solutions for Steatosis

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Brochure: Human Liver Microtissues


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