Treatments for NAFLD
Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is categorized into simple steatosis, termed nonalcoholic fatty liver (NAFL) and nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). NASH is characterized by steatosis, hepatocyte damage, inflammation, and liver fibrosis, which through cirrhosis leads to organ failure, including hepatocellular carcinoma. The development of effective non-alcoholic fatty liver disease therapies depends on basic biomedical research on liver metabolism or the body’s response to factors of metabolic syndrome. This article presents important information on in vitro experimental models (including multilayer co-cultures of cells, spheroids, microprocessor technologies, bioprinting) and animal models (diet-induced models, genetic models, and models of combinations of various interventions) of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease enabling refinement of therapeutic targets that can accelerate drug development. The emerging targets for drug development intended to stop or reverse disease progression were discussed. The research on the reduction of fibrosis in the course of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and the optimization of brown adipose function (BAT) for mitigating metabolic syndrome and nonalcoholic was presented. The development of NASH is also associated with the appearance of chronic inflammation. Thus, pro-inflammatory pathways involving inflammatory mediators represent potential therapeutic targets. Weight loss caused by diet and lifestyle changes, as a result, reduces the supply of metabolic substrates to the liver, which in turn slows the progression of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and reduces the process of liver fibrosis. Therefore, the therapy has also focused on metabolic pathways that can be used to treat non-alcoholic fatty liver disease by limiting the supply of metabolic substrates to the liver or facilitating their degradation. It also discusses different strategies that involve combination therapies.
Keywords: animal models, liver disease, metabolic syndrome, pharmacological treatments, steatosis.
© Farm Pol, 2021, 77(5): 281–286