From whole body to cellular models of hepatic triglyceride metabolism: man has got to know his limitations.
Green CJ., Pramfalk C., Morten KJ., Hodson L.
The liver is a main metabolic organ in the human body and carries out a vital role in lipid metabolism. Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is one of the most common liver diseases, encompassing a spectrum of conditions from simple fatty liver (hepatic steatosis) through to cirrhosis. Although obesity is a known risk factor for hepatic steatosis, it remains unclear what factor(s) is/are responsible for the primary event leading to retention of intrahepatocellular fat. Studying hepatic processes and the etiology and progression of disease in vivo in humans is challenging, not least as NAFLD may take years to develop. We present here a review of experimental models and approaches that have been used to assess liver triglyceride metabolism and discuss their usefulness in helping to understand the aetiology and development of NAFLD.