Obesity is a risk factor for chronic kidney disease (CKD) and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). Recent studies identify mechanisms common to both diseases linked through an interorgan communication orchestrated by fetuin-A and adiponectin. In liver and kidney, the energy sensor 5'-AMP activated protein kinase (AMPK) is pivotal to directing podocytes and hepatocytes to compensatory and potentially deleterious pathways, leading to inflammatory and profibrotic cascades culminating in end-organ damage. Regulation of these early upstream pathways may provide new therapeutic targets for these increasingly common sequelae of obesity.
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