Beyond insulin resistance: Innate immunity in nonalcoholic steatohepatitis

Hepatology. 2008 Aug;48(2):670-8. doi: 10.1002/hep.22399.


Obesity is an inflammatory disorder characterized by heightened activity of the innate immune system. Innate immune activation is central to the development of obesity-related insulin resistance; it also plays an important role in obesity-related tissue damage, such as that seen in atherosclerosis. Recent research has implicated the innate immune system in the pathophysiology of obesity-related liver disease. This review summarizes how innate immune processes, occurring both within and outside the liver, cause not only insulin resistance but also end-organ damage in the form of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adipose Tissue / metabolism
  • Dietary Fats / pharmacology
  • Fatty Acids / metabolism
  • Fatty Liver / immunology
  • Fatty Liver / physiopathology*
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Innate*
  • Inflammation Mediators / metabolism
  • Insulin Resistance*
  • Liver / drug effects
  • Liver / metabolism
  • Obesity / immunology
  • Obesity / metabolism
  • Obesity / physiopathology
  • Signal Transduction


  • Dietary Fats
  • Fatty Acids
  • Inflammation Mediators