Astrocyte elevated gene-1 (AEG-1): a new potential therapeutic target for the treatment of nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH)
Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is the most common chronic liver disease worldwide, which affects 25% of the general adult population and 70–80% of individuals with obesity and diabetes (1). In Asia, the prevalence of NAFLD is in the range of 15% to 30% in the general population and over 50% in patients with diabetes and metabolic syndrome (2). A disease spectrum of NAFLD ranges from simple steatosis to steatosis with liver inflammation and fibrosis, referred to as nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). Up to 30% of NAFLD patients have NASH and approximately 41% of NASH patients experience fibrosis progression which significantly increases the risk of hepatocellular carcinoma (1). Treatment for NAFLD and NASH is challenging. There are currently no medicines approved by the United States Food and Drug administration for the treatment of these diseases. Therefore, a better understanding of the molecular pathogenesis of NASH is urgently needed to develop effective therapeutic strategies.