Lipotoxicity in the liver

Veronika Zámbó, Laura Simon-Szabó, Péter Szelényi, Éva Kereszturi, Gábor Bánhegyi, Miklós Csala

Research output: Contribution to journalShort survey

81 Citations (Scopus)


Obesity due to excessive food intake and the lack of physical activity is becoming one of the most serious public health problems of the 21st century. With the increasing prevalence of obesity, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease is also emerging as a pandemic. While previously this pathophysiological condition was mainly attributed to triglyceride accumulation in hepatocytes, recent data show that the development of oxidative stress, lipid peroxidation, cell death, inflammation and fibrosis are mostly due to accumulation of fatty acids, and the altered composition of membrane phospholipids. In fact, triglyceride accumulation might play a protective role, and the higher toxicity of saturated or trans fatty acids seems to be the consequence of a blockade in triglyceride synthesis. Increased membrane saturation can profoundly disturb cellular homeostasis by impairing the function of membrane receptors, channels and transporters. However, it also induces endoplasmic reticulum stress via novel sensing mechanisms of the organelle's stress receptors. The triggered signaling pathways in turn largely contribute to the development of insulin resistance and apoptosis. These findings have substantiated the lipotoxic liver injury hypothesis for the pathomechanism of hepatosteatosis. This minireview focuses on the metabolic and redox aspects of lipotoxicity and lipoapoptosis, with special regards on the involvement of endoplasmic reticulum stress responses.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)550-557
Number of pages8
JournalWorld Journal of Hepatology
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1 2013



  • Endoplasmic reticulum stress
  • Lipoapoptosis
  • Lipotoxicity
  • Saturated fatty acid
  • Steatosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hepatology

Cite this

Zámbó, V., Simon-Szabó, L., Szelényi, P., Kereszturi, É., Bánhegyi, G., & Csala, M. (2013). Lipotoxicity in the liver. World Journal of Hepatology, 5(10), 550-557.