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Journal of Lipids
Volume 2012, Article ID 139875, 10 pages
Review Article

Nuclear Receptors in Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease

Liver Research Unit, Medica Sur Clinic & Foundation, Puente de Piedra 150, Colonia Toriello Guerra, 14050 Tlalpan, Mexico City, Mexico

Received 16 August 2011; Accepted 14 September 2011

Academic Editor: Piero Portincasa

Copyright © 2012 Jorge A. López-Velázquez 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.


Nuclear receptors comprise a superfamily of ligand-activated transcription factors that are involved in important aspects of hepatic physiology and pathophysiology. There are about 48 nuclear receptors in the human. These nuclear receptors are regulators of many hepatic processes including hepatic lipid and glucose metabolism, bile acid homeostasis, drug detoxification, inflammation, regeneration, fibrosis, and tumor formation. Some of these receptors are sensitive to the levels of molecules that control lipid metabolism including fatty acids, oxysterols, and lipophilic molecules. These receptors direct such molecules to the transcriptional networks and may play roles in the pathogenesis and treatment of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. Understanding the mechanisms underlying the involvement of nuclear receptors in the pathogenesis of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease may offer targets for the development of new treatments for this liver disease.