Hepatic lipid droplets in liver function and disease

Douglas G. Mashek, Wenqi Cui, Linshan Shang, Charles P Najt

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Scopus citations


Lipid droplet (LD) accumulation is the defining characteristic of non-alcoholic and alcoholic fatty liver disease. This chapter highlights the major pathways of lipid metabolism that influence LD accumulation and explores key proteins that regulate LD turnover and that link LDs to cellular dysfunction and liver disease. Fatty acids (FAs) serve as the building blocks for the biosynthesis of many complex lipids including triacylglycerols (TAGs), phospholipids, and cholesterol esters. The contribution of FAs from de novo lipogenesis is markedly increased in subjects with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and can account for up to nearly 30% of hepatic FAs. Lipolysis of TAG via cytosolic lipases and lipophagy are the two pathways thought to contribute to hepatic LD degradation. Ectopic LD accumulation is correlated with insulin resistance in numerous tissues including the liver. Numerous factors including diet, genetics, predisposing diseases and hepatitis C virus can lead to NAFLD through different etiological paths.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Liver
Subtitle of host publicationBiology and Pathobiology
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9781119436812
ISBN (Print)9781119436829
StatePublished - Jan 24 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.


  • Alcoholic fatty liver disease
  • Cellular dysfunction
  • Hepatitis C virus
  • Lipid droplet accumulation
  • Lipophagy
  • Phospholipids biosynthesis
  • Triacylglycerols biosynthesis


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