Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is a disease in which fat accumulates excessively in the liver. This fat accumulation is not caused by heavy alcohol consumption. Non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) is one type of NAFLD. In addition to liver fat accumulation, there are pathological changes of hepatitis, hepatocyte injury, fibrosis and liver scar formation, which may lead to cirrhosis or liver cancer. The mechanism of NASH progression remains unclear, and effective treatments are still lacking.
The clinical symptoms of NASH are quite complex and include obesity, insulin resistance, steatohepatitis, hepatocyte ballooning, and fibrosis according to the disease process. NASH models often used in preclinical experiments are genetic animal models, diet-induced animal models, and animal models constructed by combining genetics with diet-inductioned. However, it is difficult to mimic all the pathogenetic features of human diseases in a short period of time.
To understand the pathogenic mechanisms underlying the development and progression of NASH and to develop innovative therapies, we developed several mouse models of different stages of NASH pathogenesis.