New genes implicated in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease identified

The ADIPOFAT group which signs the study in the ITU of Servet.

youA research team has identified four genes involved in the progression of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, which will serve as new therapeutic targets to slow the progression of the disease. They thus open the door to the design of a new therapy to fight against the accumulation of fat in the liver, capable of altering the way in which it is expressed, through drugs or gene therapy.

This discovery, published in The Faseb Journal, was carried out by the ADIPOFAT group, the Aragonese Institute of Health Sciences and the Aragonese Institute of Health Research in collaboration with various departments of the Miguel Servet University Hospital of Zaragoza.

These are the SOCS3, DUSP1, SIK1 and GADD45 genes, which are expressed both in subcutaneous white adipose tissue and in adipocytes derived from human mesenchymal stem cells.

“The study result highlights their relevance as key players in the contribution of subcutaneous adipose tissue in the progression of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, making them potential targets for future therapies against fatty liver disease. hepatic steatosis,” says José Miguel Arbonés Mainar, final signer of the article and principal investigator of the group.

Study methodology

The researchers focused their study on the molecular mechanisms involved in the formation of subcutaneous white adipose tissue in the progression of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. To do this, they first identified genes in the subcutaneous white adipose tissue of a cohort of 45 patients whose expression was associated with the fatty liver index, a non-invasive test of fat accumulation. in the liver.

They then proceeded to validate the genes identified in the subcutaneous white adipose tissue of a second cohort of 47 obese patients and whose liver biopsies were available to assess in situ the degree of steatosis and the accumulation of fat in the liver.

Finally, they obtained adipose tissue stem cells from 13 obese patients with different stages of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, establishing an in vitro model of adipocytes derived from human adipose tissue stem cells.

About Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease is an umbrella term for a variety of liver conditions caused by the accumulation of liver fat in people who drink little or no alcohol.

One of the main problems for the diagnosis and treatment of the disease is that the mechanisms that determine its progression are not well understood, since many factors are involved and contribute differently to the development of the disease in each individual.

Obesity is one of the main risk factors in the development of this pathology.

However, there are also obese people who have a healthy liver, in the same way that there are people without obesity who suffer from fatty liver disease because their adipose tissue is not able to store fat from adequately and that they are redirected to other organs, such as the liver. .

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