Deciphering the epigenetic basis of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease with the help of a stem cell based in vitro model

Project start
Institution: Institute for Stem Cell Research and Regenerative Medicine, University Clinic Duesseldorf
Applicant: Dr. Nina Graffmann
EKFS funding line: First application
Image: Institut für Stammzellforschung und Regenerative Medizin

About 20 - 30% of humans develop nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) as a response to a high caloric diet. It is associated with a loss of liver function which in the worst case necessitates liver transplantation. The disease is not fully understood and no medication is available. We want to study the role of epigenetics during disease development by analysing hepatocytes from healthy and diseased donors. Epigenetics sustainably influences gene expression. It helps to define cell types and is involved in the development of various diseases. By employing a stem cell based cell culture model, we want to study NAFLD associated epigenetic modifications in detail and unravel the mode of action of selected putative medications.

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