The prevalence of metabolic-associated fatty liver disease (MAFLD) is on the rise, affecting more than one quarter of the global population. MAFLD encompasses a range of liver diseases, from simple steatosis to advanced stages such as NASH, liver fibrosis, cirrhosis, and hepatocellular carcinoma. While obesity is a known risk factor, it remains unclear why some obese individuals progress to more severe disease stages while others remain in a relatively benign fatty liver state.
In the project funded by the Lundbeck Foundation, Anne Loft and her team aim to explore the significance of the adipose tissue for the development of severe liver-related obesity complications. To investigate this, her research group will employ advanced sequencing technologies to unveil molecular "signatures" in the adipose tissue of obese individuals that contribute to the progression for advanced stage MAFLD. The ambition is further to reveal novel signaling pathways and molecules responsible for the communication between adipose tissue and the liver. Ultimately, these discoveries may open up new avenues for therapeutic interventions targeting liver inflammation and fibrosis.
Overall, the project will significantly contribute to our understanding of human adipose tissue biology and the interplay with the liver thereby providing crucial insights for future research in both basic and biomedical fields. This aligns well with the objectives of the Center for Functional Genomics and Tissue Plasticity (ATLAS), funded by the Danish National Research Foundation, led by Susanne Mandrup.
Get to know Anne's project better and see her in action in this short little film made by the Lundbeck Foundation.