Journal of Clinical and Translational Hepatology

Journal of Clinical and Translational Hepatology

Monday, 03 / 08 / 2021

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Skeletal Muscle Dysfunction in the Development and Progression of Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease

Sarah Altajar1 and Gyorgy Baffy*,1,2,3

1  Department of Medicine, Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
2  Department of Medicine, VA Boston Healthcare System, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
3  Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
*Correspondence to: Gyorgy Baffy, Section of Gastroenterology, VA Boston Healthcare System, 150 South Huntington Avenue, Room A6-46, Boston, MA 12130, USA. Tel/Fax: +1-857-364-4327, E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Journal of Clinical and Translational Hepatology 2020;8(4):414-423 DOI: 10.14218/JCTH.2020.00065
Received: July 14, 2020 Accepted: September 21, 2020 Published online: October 15, 2020


The association between the pathogenesis and natural course of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and skeletal muscle dysfunction is increasingly recognized. These obesity-associated disorders originate primarily from sustained caloric excess, gradually disrupting cellular and molecular mechanisms of the adipose–muscle–liver axis resulting in end-stage tissue injury exemplified by cirrhosis and sarcopenia. These major clinical phenotypes develop through complex organ–tissue interactions from the earliest stages of NAFLD. While the role of adipose tissue expansion and remodeling is well established in the development of NAFLD, less is known about the specific interplay between skeletal muscle and the liver in this process. Here, the relationship between skeletal muscle and liver in various stages of NAFLD progression is reviewed. Current knowledge of the pathophysiology is summarized with the goal of better understanding the natural history, risk stratification, and management of NAFLD.


Myosteatosis, Sarcopenia, Myokines, Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, Cirrhosis, Adipose–muscle–liver axis

Journal of Clinical and Translational Hepatology 2020 vol. 8, 414-423  [ Html  ] [ PDF Full-text ]

© The Authors 2020. This article is published under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial License (CC BY-NC 4.0), which permits use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, the use is non commercial and is otherwise in compliance with the license.


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