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Review

The Non-Invasive Assessment of Circulating D-Loop and mt-ccf Levels Opens an Intriguing Spyhole into Novel Approaches for the Tricky Diagnosis of NASH

1
General Medicine and Metabolic Diseases, Fondazione IRCCS Cà Granda Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico, Via Francesco Sforza 35, 20122 Milan, Italy
2
Department of Pharmacological and Biomolecular Sciences, Università degli Studi di Milano, 20133 Milano, Italy
3
Department of Clinical Sciences and Community Health, Università degli Studi di Milano, 20122 Milano, Italy
4
IRCCS Multimedica, 20099 Milan, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2023, 24(3), 2331; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms24032331
Received: 4 January 2023 / Revised: 17 January 2023 / Accepted: 18 January 2023 / Published: 24 January 2023

Abstract

Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is the commonest liver disease worldwide affecting both adults and children. Nowadays, no therapeutic strategies have been approved for NAFLD management, and hepatic biopsy remains the gold standard procedure for its diagnosis. NAFLD is a multifactorial disease whose pathogenesis is affected by environmental and genetic factors, and it covers a spectrum of conditions ranging from simple steatosis up to nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), fibrosis, cirrhosis, and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Several studies underlined the urgent need to develop an NAFLD risk prediction model based on genetics, biochemical indicators, and metabolic disorders. The loss of mitochondrial dynamics represents a typical feature of progressive NAFLD. The imbalance of mitochondrial lifecycle together with the impairment of mitochondrial biomass and function trigger oxidative stress, which in turn damages mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA). We recently demonstrated that the main genetic predictors of NAFLD led to mitochondrial dysfunction. Moreover, emerging evidence shows that variations in the displacement loop (D-loop) region impair mtDNA replication, and they have been associated with advanced NAFLD. Finally, lower levels of mitophagy foster the overload of damaged mitochondria, resulting in the release of cell-free circulating mitochondrial DNA (mt-ccf) that exacerbates liver injury. Thus, in this review we summarized what is known about D-loop region alterations and mt-ccf content during NAFLD to propose them as novel non-invasive biomarkers.
Keywords: NAFLD; NASH; mitochondrial dysfunction; biomarkers; D-loop; mt-ccf NAFLD; NASH; mitochondrial dysfunction; biomarkers; D-loop; mt-ccf

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MDPI and ACS Style

Paolini, E.; Longo, M.; Corsini, A.; Dongiovanni, P. The Non-Invasive Assessment of Circulating D-Loop and mt-ccf Levels Opens an Intriguing Spyhole into Novel Approaches for the Tricky Diagnosis of NASH. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2023, 24, 2331. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms24032331

AMA Style

Paolini E, Longo M, Corsini A, Dongiovanni P. The Non-Invasive Assessment of Circulating D-Loop and mt-ccf Levels Opens an Intriguing Spyhole into Novel Approaches for the Tricky Diagnosis of NASH. International Journal of Molecular Sciences. 2023; 24(3):2331. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms24032331

Chicago/Turabian Style

Paolini, Erika, Miriam Longo, Alberto Corsini, and Paola Dongiovanni. 2023. "The Non-Invasive Assessment of Circulating D-Loop and mt-ccf Levels Opens an Intriguing Spyhole into Novel Approaches for the Tricky Diagnosis of NASH" International Journal of Molecular Sciences 24, no. 3: 2331. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms24032331

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