Study Sheds Light on Immune Responses Driving Obesity-Induced Liver Disease

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June 29, 2017
Mouse liver

Findings in mouse models published this week in Science Translational Medicine by a team from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) with the participation of researchers from the University of Montreal Hospital Research Centre (CRCHUM) reveal inflammatory factors that promote liver scarring.

The study reveal that the type of immune response that helps maintain healthy metabolism in fatty tissues, called type 2 immunity, also drives obesity-induced nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). The work, led by scientists at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health, shows that the inflammatory environment in the fatty liver is more complex than previously thought. 

Researcher Naglaa Shoukry, doctoral student Thomas Fabre and Drs. Marc Bilodeau and Geneviève Soucy at the University of Montreal Hospital Research Centre (CRCHUM) collaborated on this study. 

These insights may inform the development of new NAFLD treatments as well as immune-altering therapies for obesity and related health issues in people with NAFLD. 

Read the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases press release


Photo: The image on the left shows steatosis (fat build-up, red) in the liver of a normal mouse fed at high-fat diet. The right image shows markedly higher steatosis in the liver of a mouse lacking IFN-gamma fed a high-fat diet. Credit: NIAID

Source: National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)