Beatriz Cicuéndez, Irene Ruiz-Garrido, Alfonso Mora & Guadalupe Sabio.
Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is an important component of metabolic syndrome and one of the most prevalent liver diseases worldwide. This disorder is closely linked to hepatic insulin resistance, lipotoxicity, and inflammation.
Although the mechanisms that cause steatosis and chronic liver injury in NAFLD remain unclear, a key component of this process is the activation of stress-activated kinases (SAPKs), including p38 and JNK in the liver and immune system.
This review summarizes findings which indicate that the dysregulation of stress kinases plays a fundamental role in the development of steatosis and are important players in inducing liver fibrosis. To avoid the development of steatohepatitis and liver cancer, SAPK activity must be tightly regulated not only in the hepatocytes but also in other tissues, including cells of the immune system. Possible cellular mechanisms of SAPK actions are discussed.