Liver-derived metabolites as signaling molecules in fatty liver disease

Umur Keles, Jin Rong Ow, Katharina Barbara Kuentzel, Li Na Zhao, Philipp Kaldis

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Excessive fat accumulation in the liver has become a major health threat worldwide. Unresolved fat deposition in the liver can go undetected until it develops into fatty liver disease, followed by steatohepatitis, fibrosis, cirrhosis, and eventually hepatocellular carcinoma. Lipid deposition in the liver is governed by complex communication, primarily between metabolic organs. This can be mediated by hormones, organokines, and also, as has been more recently discovered, metabolites. Although how metabolites from peripheral organs affect the liver is well documented, the effect of metabolic players released from the liver during the development of fatty liver disease or associated comorbidities needs further attention. Here we focus on interorgan crosstalk based on metabolites released from the liver and how these molecules act as signaling molecules in peripheral tissues. Due to the liver's specific role, we are covering lipid and bile mechanism-derived metabolites. We also discuss the high sucrose intake associated with uric acid release from the liver. Excessive fat deposition in the liver during fatty liver disease development reflects disrupted metabolic processes. As a response, the liver secretes a variety of signaling molecules as well as metabolites which act as a footprint of the metabolic disruption. In the coming years, the reciprocal exchange of metabolites between the liver and other metabolic organs will gain further importance and will help to better understand the development of fatty liver disease and associated diseases.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4
Pages (from-to)1-14
JournalCellular and Molecular Life Sciences
Issue number1
Early online date2022 Dec 7
Publication statusPublished - 2023 Jan

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Gastroenterology and Hepatology


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