Following the work initiated in 2018, the winning project of a funding from La Caixa Foundation led by Rui Castro, Researcher and Professor at the Faculty of Pharmacy of the Universidade de Lisboa,  identified biomarkers that may help in the early detection of fatty liver disease.

In the video released by the La Caixa Foundation, Rui Castro stated that perhaps the most innovative discovery of this project was “identifying that micro-RNAs within extracellular vesicles released by adipocytes can functionally act on liver cells and have a functional effect,” adding that “this represents a new form of communication between adipose tissue and the liver from which we can benefit therapeutically.” These micro-RNAs could thus be potential biomarkers not only for disease diagnosis but also for its monitoring. Given that this is a silent disease, the discovery of new biomarkers is very important.

The incidence of fatty liver disease associated with metabolic dysfunction (MASLD) is about 30% worldwide and is growing parallel to the increase in obesity and type 2 diabetes. The causes attributed to this fact are related to the increased consumption of food that has high levels of fat and the decrease in the physical activity by patients.

Watch the full vídeo bellow: