Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is a continuum of liver abnormalities often starting as simple steatosis and to potentially progress into nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), fibrosis, cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma. Because of its increasing prevalence, NAFLD is becoming a major public health concern, in parallel with a worldwide increase in the recurrence rate of diabetes and metabolic syndrome. It has been estimated that NASH cirrhosis may surpass viral hepatitis C and become the leading indication for liver transplantation in the next decades. The broadening of the knowledge about NASH pathogenesis and progression is of pivotal importance for the discovery of new targeted and more effective therapies; aim of this review is to offer a comprehensive and updated overview on NAFLD and NASH pathogenesis, the most recommended treatments, drugs under development and new drug targets. The most relevant in vitro and in vivo models of NAFLD and NASH will be also reviewed, as well as the main molecular pathways involved in NAFLD and NASH development.
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