Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is a component of the metabolic syndrome, with a clinical spectrum ranging from simple fatty liver to steatohepatitis, cirrhosis, and hepatocellular carcinoma. The primary event of NAFLD is the accumulation of triacylglycerols (TAGs) in hepatocytes. In this issue of the JCI, Donnelly et al. report on their use of stable isotope methodology to show that fatty acids stored in adipose tissue and fatty acids newly made within the liver through de novo lipogenesis are the major sources of TAGs in the liver and are secreted as lipoproteins in NAFLD.
Shinji Tamura, Iichiro Shimomura