Hepatic lipophagy: New insights into autophagic catabolism of lipid droplets in the liver

Ryan J. Schulze, Kristina Drižytė, Carol A. Casey, Mark A. McNiven

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

66 Scopus citations


The liver is a central fat-storage organ, making it especially susceptible to steatosis as well as subsequent inflammation and cirrhosis. The mechanisms by which the liver mobilizes stored lipid for energy production, however, remain incompletely defined. The catabolic process of autophagy, a well-known process of bulk cytoplasmic recycling and cellular self-regeneration, is a central regulator of lipid metabolism in the liver. In the past decade, numerous studies have examined a selective form of autophagy that specifically targets a unique neutral lipid storage organelle, the lipid droplet, to better understand the function for this process in hepatocellular fatty acid metabolism. In the liver (and other oxidative tissues), this specialized pathway, lipophagy, likely plays as important a role in lipid turnover as conventional lipase-driven lipolysis. In this review, we highlight several recent studies that have contributed to our understanding about the regulation and effects of hepatic lipophagy. (Hepatology Communications 2017;1:359–369).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)359-369
Number of pages11
JournalHepatology Communications
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hepatology


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