Obesity and the liver: Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease

Sean W.P. Koppe*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

62 Scopus citations


The increasing prevalence of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) parallels the rise of obesity and its complications. NAFLD is a common cause of cirrhosis and a leading indication for liver transplant. Genetic susceptibility, dietary composition, and exercise habits influence the development of NAFLD, and insulin resistance results in widespread metabolic perturbations with a net effect of triglyceride accumulation in the liver. Some patients will develop hepatocyte cellular injury and fibrosis of the liver, which can progress to cirrhosis and require liver transplant. Treatments targeting the pathophysiological mechanisms of NAFLD exist, but carry some potential risk and are not universally effective. Weight loss and lifestyle changes remain the most effective and safest approach, but sustainable change is difficult for most patients to achieve. Future work will continue to focus on developing effective and safe interventions to prevent the development of advanced liver disease, whereas efforts in the public health domain continue to combat obesity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)312-322
Number of pages11
JournalTranslational Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1 2014


  • ApoC3 = apolipoprotein C III
  • CK-18 = cytokeratin-18
  • DAG = diacylglycerol
  • ER = endoplasmic reticulum
  • HCC = hepatocellular carcinoma
  • LPS = lipopolysaccharide
  • LXR = liver X receptor
  • MET = metabolic equivalent of task
  • NAFLD = nonalcoholic fatty liver disease
  • NASH = nonalcoholic steatohepatitis
  • OCA = obeticholic acid
  • PNPLA3 = patatin-like phospholipase domain containing 3
  • ROS = reactive oxygen species
  • SREBP-1 = sterol regulatory element-binding protein 1
  • TLR4 = toll-like receptor 4

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Biochemistry, medical
  • Physiology (medical)


Dive into the research topics of 'Obesity and the liver: Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this