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The research work in Dr. Kohli’s laboratory has focused on the pathogenesis of obesity related fatty liver disease (NAFLD). In particular, there are two broad areas of investigation in this lab within the arena of obesity and NAFLD.
The first area is NAFLD Pathogenesis: Here we focus on the role of lipotoxicity, reactive oxygen species, inflammatory pathways and endoplasmic reticulum stress in the generation and regulation of the extreme stage of this disease; nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). Dr. Kohli's laboratory has contributed to the field by highlighting the role of fructose in triggering above mentioned oxidative injury and inflammation which results in fibrosis within the liver. They introduced a novel yet simple dietary model of murine NASH wherein the disease is recapitulated with all its essential hepatic histologic features (steatosis, inflammation and fibrosis) in a milieu of obesity and insulin resistance (See Figure).
The second area of research is the impact of Bariatric Surgery on NAFLD and Bile acid physiology. In this area of research the laboratory works closely with Drs. Randy Seeley and Stephen Woods at the Metabolic Diseases Institute at the University of Cincinnati to understand the mechanism and impact of bariatric surgical procedures such as sleeve gastrectomy and roux-en-Y gastric bypass on NASH and other co-morbidities of obesity. This work involves using small animal models of common and experimental bariatric procedures to study the role of bile acids in the improvements seen after bariatric surgery. This was recently highlighted by this laboratory suing an experimental bariatric procedure called ileal transposition in rats (See Figure).
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