Warming up to a new treatment target for liver disease
Thermogenesis literally means heat generation. Adaptive thermogenesis is another regulatory mechanism that occurs in response to changes in temperature and diet. It has gained increasing attention over the last decade for its potential role in obesity and prolonged dieting. It may also be important in liver disease, particularly non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) that is also associated with obesity and type 2 diabetes. The EU-funded Hepatic Thermogenesi project has targeted the liver as a potential site of adaptive thermogenesis. Scientists plan to tease out the molecular mechanisms and the role of sympathetic regulation. With NAFLD on the rise, results could provide new routes to treatment.