About this Research Topic
The liver is the biggest of human glands and a key player in metabolism homeostasis and disruption. Apart from its more established functions, the liver has lately attracted the scientists’ attention also for secreting hundreds of molecules with autocrine, paracrine, and endocrine effects. However, as many hepatokines have only been discovered recently with some exceptions, their integrated role in the complex and intricate mechanisms regulating health and metabolic disease is not well defined yet.
Ranging from hormones with better-established functions such as IGF-1, FGF19 and FGF21, to emerging metabolites such as ketone bodies, whose roles seem to go well beyond being a simple product of a metabolic pathway, this research topic aims at putting together all recent evidence on the following:
• Pleiotropic effects of liver-derived molecules
• New pathophysiological roles in liver metabolism of well-known hepatokines, such as IGF-1, FGF19 and FGF21, as well as that of less known hepatokines, such as β hydoxybutyrate
• The interplay between different hepatokines in liver health and disease
We believe that the identification of new metabolically-relevant liver-derived molecules together with obtaining the knowledge of how such molecules interact with each other on a larger scale is essential to deeply understand the protective role of the liver in maintaining metabolic homeostasis and its contribution to systemic disruption and metabolic syndrome development when this protection fails, such as in the case of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.
Keywords: NAFLD, ketogenic diet, carbohydrate restriction, FGF21, fatty liver
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