The liver plays a central role in lipid metabolism. Fatty liver Disease (FLD) in particular Non Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD) is a serious health concern that affects 25% of the world’s population. It is characterized by increased abdominal fat accumulation and metabolic abnormalities including insulin resistance, type-2-diabetes mellitus, hypertension, dyslipidemia and cardiovascular problems. NAFLD can be simple fat accumulation i.e. > 5% in the liver to Non-Alcoholic Steatohepatitis (NASH) and cirrhosis which can progress to hepatocellular carcinoma and liver failure.




Prof.Naresh Babu Sepuri                     Dr. Noble Kumar Talari                          Dr. Ushodaya Mattam

Mitochondria, the cell’s powerhouse, empower the liver to regulate the lipid metabolism by enabling fatty acid oxidation during starvation and fatty acid synthesis during nutrient-rich conditions. It has yet to be discovered how the mitochondria can seamlessly regulate these two distinct processes in the liver. For the first time, we have isolated two distinct sub-populations of mitochondria from the liver of male Wistar rats, cytoplasmic mitochondria and lipid droplet-associated mitochondria. Our study shows that both populations display unique bioenergetic patterns, with lipid droplet-associated mitochondria exhibiting higher fatty acid oxidation than cytoplasmic mitochondria. Most importantly, we find that the fatty acid oxidation capacity of lipid droplet-associated mitochondria isolated from a NAFLD rat model is reduced. We demonstrate the significance of functional segregation of mitochondria as any aberration in lipid droplet-associated mitochondria may lead to NAFLD. This study provides another dimension to reduce fat accumulation in the liver which in turn reduces the onset of NAFLD and opens up new avenues for the therapeutic intervention.

Prof.Naresh Babu Sepuri lab published the article in Nature Communications and the main contributors for this study are Dr. Noble Kumar Talari and Dr.Ushodaya Mattam, Mr. Niroj Kumar, Mr. Arun Kumar P also, this study is in collaboration with Dr. Thanuja Krishnamoorthy, BIONEST, School of Life Sciences and Dr. Kalyankar Mahadev, School of Medical Sciences and funds from UoH-IoE.

The article published in nature communication can be viewed at:

The pdf can be viewed at: