Combined metabolic activators therapy ameliorates liver fat in nonalcoholic fatty liver disease patients

Mol Syst Biol. 2021 Oct;17(10):e10459. doi: 10.15252/msb.202110459.


Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) refers to excess fat accumulation in the liver. In animal experiments and human kinetic study, we found that administration of combined metabolic activators (CMAs) promotes the oxidation of fat, attenuates the resulting oxidative stress, activates mitochondria, and eventually removes excess fat from the liver. Here, we tested the safety and efficacy of CMA in NAFLD patients in a placebo-controlled 10-week study. We found that CMA significantly decreased hepatic steatosis and levels of aspartate aminotransferase, alanine aminotransferase, uric acid, and creatinine, whereas found no differences on these variables in the placebo group after adjustment for weight loss. By integrating clinical data with plasma metabolomics and inflammatory proteomics as well as oral and gut metagenomic data, we revealed the underlying molecular mechanisms associated with the reduced hepatic fat and inflammation in NAFLD patients and identified the key players involved in the host-microbiome interactions. In conclusion, we showed that CMA can be used to develop a pharmacological treatment strategy in NAFLD patients.

Trial registration: NCT04330326.

Keywords: CMA; NAFLD; multi-omics; systems biology.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Diet, High-Fat
  • Humans
  • Inflammation
  • Liver
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease* / drug therapy
  • Weight Loss

Associated data