Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) is a progressive form of
nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, characterized by inflammation, hepatocyte
injury and fibrogenesis. Overall mortality, and liver-related mortality, are
both increased in NASH patients. Considering that nonalcoholic fatty liver
disease is the most prevalent hepatic abnormality in the Western world,
understanding the mechanisms leading to NASH and its progression to
cirrhosis is critical for a better management of these patients. Moreover, a
more detailed knowledge of this condition may be helpful to identify those
subjects which are more susceptible to develop progressive liver disease.
Emerging data indicate that NASH progression results from parallel events
originating from the liver as well as from the adipose tissue, and the gastrointestinal tract. In
this review we highlight some of the most recent findings reported on the pathogenesis of
NASH and its fibrogenic progression to cirrhosis, in an effort to identify possible targets for
treatment or biomarkers of disease progression.