Animal Models of Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Diseases and Its Associated Liver Cancer
Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is a spectrum of diseases, which include simple liver steatosis, non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). It is a burgeoning health problem worldwide in line with the trend towards unhealthy diet and increased prevalence of obesity and type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). Many animal models that illustrate both the histology and pathology of human NAFLD have been established. It is important to choose an animal model that best conforms to the aim of the study. This chapter presents a critical analysis of the histopathology and pathogenesis of NAFLD and the most commonly used and recently developed animal models of hepatic steatosis, NASH and NAFLD-induced hepatocellular carcinoma (NAFLD-HCC). The main mechanisms involved in the experimental pathogenesis of NAFLD in various animal models were also discussed. This chapter also includes a brief summary of recent therapeutic targets found using animal models. Although current animal models provide important guidance in understanding the pathogenesis and development of NAFLD, future study is essential to develop more precise models that better mimic the disease spectrum for both improved mechanistic understanding and identification of novel therapeutic options.
KeywordsNon-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) Liver cancer Dietary animal model Genetic animal model Disease histopathology
This chapter was modified from the paper published by our group in Journal of Pathology (Lau, Zhang and Yu 2017; 241:36–44). The related contents are re-used with the permission.
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