Background & Aims
Non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) is characterized by steatosis and inflammation. The transition from steatosis towards NASH represents a key step in pathogenesis, as it will set the stage for further severe liver damage. Under normal conditions, lipoproteins that are endocytosed by Kupffer cells (KCs) are easily transferred from the lysosomes into the cytoplasm. Oxidized LDL (oxLDL) that is taken up by the macrophages in vitro is trapped within the lysosomes, while acetylated LDL (acLDL) is leading to normal lysosomal hydrolysis, resulting in cytoplasmic storage. We have recently demonstrated that hepatic inflammation is correlated with lysosomal trapping of lipids. So far, a link between lysosomal trapping of oxLDL and inflammation was not established. We hypothesized that lysosomal trapping of oxLDL in KCs will lead to hepatic inflammation.