Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Intrahepatic triglyceride (IHTG) content is determined by substrate flux to, fatty acid synthesis and partitioning within, and triglyceride disposal from the liver. Dysregulation of these processes may cause IHTG accumulation, potentially leading to nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. The aetiology of IHTG accumulation has not been fully elucidated; however, environmental factors and heritability are important. Here, we review recent evidence regarding the contribution of metabolic and genetic components of IHTG accumulation. RECENT FINDINGS: Obesity and insulin resistance are the primary metabolic drivers for IHTG accumulation. These risk factors have pronounced and seemingly overlapping effects on all processes involved in determining IHTG content. The strong and interchangeable associations between obesity, insulin resistance and IHTG make it challenging to determine their relative contributions. Genome-wide association studies have identified a growing list of single nucleotide polymorphisms associated with IHTG content and recent work has begun to elucidate their mechanistic effects. The mechanisms underlying metabolic and genetic drivers of IHTG appear to be distinct. SUMMARY: Both metabolic and genetic factors influence IHTG content by apparently distinct mechanisms. Further work is needed to determine metabolic and genetic interaction effects, which may lead to more personalized and potentially efficacious therapeutic interventions. The development of a comprehensive polygenic risk score for IHTG content may help facilitate this.

Original publication




Journal article


Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care

Publication Date





241 - 247


Genome-Wide Association Study, Glucose Clamp Technique, Humans, Insulin Resistance, Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease, Obesity, Triglycerides