Subclassification of fatty liver by its pathogenesis: cIEFing is believing#

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Fatty liver, also termed hepatic steatosis or fatty liver disease, is a condition characterized by excess fat accumulation in the liver. Common causes of fatty liver include obesity, ageing, medications, genetic disorders, viral hepatitis, excess alcohol or toxins. This diversity in pathogenesis is matched by an equally diverse spectrum of consequences, whereby some individuals remain asymptomatic yet others progress through a series of inflammatory, fibrotic and metabolic disorders that can lead to liver failure, cancer or diabetes. Current treatment approaches for fatty liver do not differ by disease aetiology and primarily involve weight loss strategies or management of co-morbidities. In a recent paper published in this journal, Urasaki et al used capillary isoelectric focusing (cIEF) to create profiles of protein post-translational modifications that distinguish four different models of fatty liver in mice. Importantly, this new cIEF approach has the potential to provide rapid individualized diagnosis of fatty liver pathogenesis that may enable more accurate and personalized treatment strategies. Further testing and optimization of cIEF as a diagnostic screening tool in humans is warranted. Copyright © 2016 Pathological Society of Great Britain and Ireland. Published by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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