Zurich discovery helps fight fatty liver disease

Zurich – Obesity can cause fatty liver disease, which can lead to infections and even cancer. Scientists in Zurich have now gained an important insight into how fatty liver disease develops. Their findings could help develop new treatments for the condition.


Morbid obesity affects the liver and causes chronic fatty liver disease in a third of all adults, explained the University of Zurich (UZH) in a statement. The condition can lead to inflammation and even cancer.

There is currently insufficient knowledge about exactly how fatty liver disease and the conditions associated with it develop, according to the UZH. Scientists at the university and the Children’s Hospital Zurich have now come a step closer to understanding the condition.   

The researchers were able to define the role of the cell receptor Fas (CD95) and the protein-coded gene BID in the development of fatty liver disease in mice. They showed that mice missing Fas were protected against the development of fatty liver.  

Mice with increased Fas content but simultaneously low BID content in the liver were also protected from the condition.  

“The described signaling pathway of Fas and BID could serve as a novel target for a better treatment of fatty liver disease associated with obesity,” explained Daniel Konrad, professor for endocrinology and diabetology at the UZH. 

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