Review

Human Fatty Liver Disease: Old Questions and New Insights

Science  24 Jun 2011:
Vol. 332, Issue 6037, pp. 1519-1523
DOI: 10.1126/science.1204265

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Abstract

Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is a burgeoning health problem that affects one-third of adults and an increasing number of children in developed countries. The disease begins with the aberrant accumulation of triglyceride in the liver, which in some individuals elicits an inflammatory response that can progress to cirrhosis and liver cancer. Although NAFLD is strongly associated with obesity and insulin resistance, its pathogenesis remains poorly understood, and therapeutic options are limited. Here, we discuss recent mechanistic insights into NAFLD, focusing primarily on those that have emerged from human genetic and metabolic studies.

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