Gut microfloral activity has been proposed as a major contributor to the onset of metabolic diseases and associated complications that manifest clinically such as non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). The FloriNASH project will seek to assess this activity and better define the role of intestinal flora in NAFLD. The research strategy aims to find biomarkers that are predictive of patient risk, and then define targets for new therapeutic intervention strategies.
Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease
Cases of fatty liver disease with inflammation that resemble alcoholic steatohepatitis, but occurring in non-drinkers, were first described 30 years ago, initially in the Japanese literature and subsequently in the United States.
In the following decades, NAFLD has become a leading heath issue in many western nations.
The construction a large bank of tissues and biofluids (liver biopsies, urine, faeces, plasma) from NAFLD patients that have been phenotyped for obesity and for insulin resistance by hyperinsulinemic clamping. Main goals of the project, as stated on the European Commission website are as follows:
- The application of coupled bioinformatic and chemometric modelling of phenotypes via advanced system level omics metrics (utilizing metabolomic, proteomic, transcriptomic, and metagenomic platforms).
- The mechanistic refinement and validation of human markers and targets in complementary animal models and innovative humanized mice.
- To validate currently available therapeutic candidates for the targets and synthesize new chemical entities to interfere with these targets.
- To elucidate and widely disseminate the systemic and long range metabolic impacts of intestinal microflora modulation on molecular pathways such as ER stress, lipogenic transcription factors and inflammatory agents.
For more information on the FloriNASH project, please visit the project website.