Do you know what the fatty liver disease is? Known as non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), the fatty liver disease eventually progresses to cirrhosis or liver cancer, especially in those with obesity or Type 2 diabetes. Well, turns out that a diet high in cholesterol can trigger changes in the immune system that can lead to a serious form of fatty liver disease.
Researchers at the Keck School of Medicine found how a toxic combination of dietary fat and cholesterol impacts the behaviour of macrophages, a type of white blood cell, in the liver. Published in the Journal of Hepatology, the researchers found that liver inflammation and scarring is commonly seen in patients with NASH. "Despite its increasing prevalence and burden to the health care system, there are currently no food and drug administration-approved therapies for non-alcoholic fatty liver disease," said Hugo Rosen, study's corresponding author. "There's an urgent need to better understand the causes of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease progression so that successful therapeutics can be designed and brought into clinical practice," Rosen added.
The group of researchers also identified a novel type of reparative macrophage that counteracts the inflammation.