New genes implicated in the progression of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease identified


Researchers from Ciber de Obesidad y Nutrición (Ciberobn), the Aragonese Institute of Health Sciences (IACS) and the Aragón Health Research Institute have identified new genes in adipose tissue involved in the progression non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.

As the research center reported on Thursday, the results of the study, in which various departments of the Miguel Servetus University Hospital in Zaragoza also collaborated, have just been published in the magazine “The Faseb Journal”.

There are four genes -SOCS3, DUSP1, SIK1 and GADD45-, all in adipose tissue” underscoring their relevance as key players in the contribution of subcutaneous adipose tissue in the progression of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and transforming them into potential targets for future therapies against fatty liver disease”, underlined the researcher of IACS, Miguel Servet University Hospital and Ciberobn, José Miguel Arbones Mainar.

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


Then, they proceeded to the validation of these genes identified in the subcutaneous white adipose tissue of a second cohort of 47 obese patients and whose liver biopsies were available to evaluate “in situ” the degree of steatosis and accumulation of fat in the liver. Finally, they obtained stem cells from adipose tissue from 13 obese patients with different stages of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.

Modifying the expression of these genes in the subcutaneous white adipose tissue by pharmacological tools or by gene therapy could constitute a new therapy to fight against the accumulation of fat in the liver.

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. .

(SERVIMEDIA) 04-AUG-2022 11:36 (GMT +2) ABG/mmr

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