Farnesoid X receptor (FXR) agonist obeticholic acid (OCA) has emerged as a potential therapy for nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). However, the side effects of OCA may limit its application in clinics. We identified previously that isotschimgine (ITG) is a non-steroidal FXR selective agonist and has potent therapeutic effects on NAFLD in mice. Here, we aimed to evaluate the therapeutic effects of ITG on nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) and fibrosis in mice. We used methionine and choline deficient (MCD) diet-induced NASH mice, bile duct ligation (BDL), and carbon tetrachloride (CCl )-treated hepatic fibrosis mice to investigate the effects of ITG on NASH, fibrosis, and cholestatic liver injury. Our results showed that ITG improved steatosis and inflammation in the liver of MCD diet-fed mice, as well as alleviated fibrosis and inflammation in the liver of CCl -treated mice. Furthermore, ITG attenuated serum bile acid levels, and reduced vacuolization, inflammatory infiltration, hepatic parenchymal necrosis, and collagen accumulation in the liver of BDL mice. Mechanistically, ITG increased the expression of FXR target genes. These data suggest that ITG is an FXR agonist and may be developed as a novel therapy for NASH, hepatic fibrosis, or primary biliary cholangitis.© 2021 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
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