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A lipid-rich gestational diet predisposes offspring to nonalcoholic fatty liver disease: a potential sequence of events

Authors Hughes A, Oxford J

Received 13 November 2013

Accepted for publication 27 December 2013

Published 6 March 2014 Volume 2014:6 Pages 15—23

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/HMER.S57500

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 3


Alexandria N Hughes, Julia Thom Oxford

Department of Biological Sciences, Biomolecular Research Center, Boise State University, Boise, ID, USA

Abstract: Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is the hepatic manifestation of metabolic syndrome. It affects 20%–30% of the US population, and it is increasing worldwide. Recently, the role of lipid-rich maternal gestational nutrition in spurring the development of NAFLD among offspring has been indicated. Fetal predisposition to NAFLD involves numerous physiological reroutings that are initiated by increased delivery of nonesterified fatty acids to the fetal liver. Hampered ß-oxidation, uncontrolled oxidative stress, increased triacylglycerol synthesis, and the endoplasmic reticulum unfolded protein response are all implicated in sculpting a hepatic phenotype with a propensity to develop NAFLD in the postnatal state. This review suggests a mechanism that integrates outcomes reported by a variety of studies conducted in an analysis of fetal hepatic metabolic capacity amid the maternal consumption of a high-fat diet. Potential preventive measures and therapies for use both as part of prenatal nutrition and for those at risk for the development of NAFLD are also discussed.

Keywords: nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, fetal–maternal diet, hepatocyte, oxidative stress

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