The Regulation of Lipid Metabolism by Targeting Opioid Receptors in Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease

Hsien Hui Chung


Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is a well-known hepatic disease without a history of alcohol abuse, which displays a dysfunction of the normal processes of lipid synthesis and elimination in hepatocytes. The chronic endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress caused by lipid accumulation in hepatocytes interferes with normal cellular function. In addition, inflammation has been thought to be associated with the formation of nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) and promotes the progression to hepatic fibrosis and liver cirrhosis. Opioid receptors seem to be involved in the regulation of lipid and energy metabolism. Furthermore, the pathogenesis of NAFLD can be improved by the modulation of opioid receptors to attenuate hepatic lipid abnormalities. Thus, the identification of potential compounds by targeting opioid receptors in the improvement of NAFLD is promising.


Endoplasmic reticulum; Hepatic steatosis; Inflammation; Lipid metabolism; Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease; Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis; Opioid receptor

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