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BioMed Research International
Volume 2016, Article ID 5170402, 11 pages
Review Article

Pathogenesis of Nonalcoholic Steatohepatitis: Interactions between Liver Parenchymal and Nonparenchymal Cells

Department of Pharmacology, Toxicology & Therapeutics, University of Kansas Medical Center, Kansas City, KS 66160, USA

Received 30 June 2016; Accepted 22 September 2016

Academic Editor: Michel Fausther

Copyright © 2016 Nancy Magee et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is the most common type of chronic liver disease in the Western countries, affecting up to 25% of the general population and becoming a major health concern in both adults and children. NAFLD encompasses the entire spectrum of fatty liver disease in individuals without significant alcohol consumption, ranging from nonalcoholic fatty liver (NAFL) to nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) and cirrhosis. NASH is a manifestation of the metabolic syndrome and hepatic disorders with the presence of steatosis, hepatocyte injury (ballooning), inflammation, and, in some patients, progressive fibrosis leading to cirrhosis. The pathogenesis of NASH is a complex process and implicates cell interactions between liver parenchymal and nonparenchymal cells as well as crosstalk between various immune cell populations in liver. Lipotoxicity appears to be the central driver of hepatic cellular injury via oxidative stress and endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress. This review focuses on the contributions of hepatocytes and nonparenchymal cells to NASH, assessing their potential applications to the development of novel therapeutic agents. Currently, there are limited pharmacological treatments for NASH; therefore, an increased understanding of NASH pathogenesis is pertinent to improve disease interventions in the future.