FXR Agonists as Therapeutic Agents for Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease
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Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is the hepatic manifestation of the metabolic syndrome and a risk factor for both cardiovascular and hepatic related morbidity and mortality. The increasing prevalence of this disease requires novel therapeutic approaches to prevent disease progression. Farnesoid X receptors are bile acid receptors with roles in lipid, glucose, and energy homeostasis. Synthetic farnesoid X receptor (FXR) agonists have been developed to specifically target these receptors for therapeutic use in NAFLD patients. Here, we present a review of bile acid physiology and how agonism of FXR receptors has been examined in pre-clinical and clinical NAFLD. Early evidence suggests a potential role for synthetic FXR agonists in the management of NAFLD; however, additional studies are needed to clarify their effects on lipid and glucose parameters in humans.
KeywordsFXR Obetacholic acid Bile acid NAFLD NASH Alcoholic hepatitis
This study was supported by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant funding from the following sources: K08-AA021424, P30-DK-50306 pilot, and feasibility grant program and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Harold Amos Medical Faculty Development Award, 71586 (RMC)
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Conflict of Interest
Rotonya M. Carr and Andrea E. Reid declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.
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