Tuesday 21 May 2019 16:00 – 17:00 “Stelios Orphanoudakis” Seminar Room
“Unravelling novel genes that contribute to the pathogenesis of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) in mice”
Dr. Effie Thymiakou Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology (IMBB)
The number of people with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) has increased dramatically in the past three decades imposing a substantial public health burden. Almost one third of NAFLD patients develop nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), a condition which is related to increased mortality due to the progression to cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma. In addition, all NAFLD/NASH patients are at high risk of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes (T2D). The need for improved diagnosis, treatment and management is evident but the efforts to develop efficient treatments are hindered by the combinatorial effect of genetic and environmental influences. Our aim is to develop new models of NAFLD that will enrich our knowledge on the pathogenesis of this disease and reveal potential therapeutic targets. For this purpose, we studied mice with liver-specific ablation of HNF4α (H4LivKO mice) which develop hepatic steatosis and show abnormal lipid homeostasis. We also studied the liver-specific HNF4α heterozygote mice (H4LivHet) which express lower levels of HNF4α in the liver in order to mimic the state found in NASH patients and investigate whether HNF4α can act as a predisposition factor for the development of NAFLD.