The use of obeticholic acid for the management of non-viral liver disease: current clinical practice and future perspectives.
Introduction: Farnesoid X nuclear receptor is involved in the regulation of lipid and glucose metabolism, though mainly in the homeostasis of bile acids. Indeed, the agonists of farnesoid X nuclear receptor represent promising drugs.
Areas covered: Obeticholic acid, a novel semisynthetic analogue of the naturally occurring bile acid, has led to encouraging preliminary results in both cholestatic and metabolic liver disease. In patients with primary biliary cholangitis, obeticholic acid determines a significant biochemical improvement although the effects on liver fibrosis are lacking. Obeticholic acid has been suggested for the treatment of nonalcoholic liver disease with good laboratory results. In cirrhotic animal models, the drug seems to reduce both portal hypertension and gut bacterial translocation.
Expert commentary: The use of obeticholic acid for the treatment of primary biliary cholangitis shows satisfying results. However, some open questions remain unresolved. Herein, we provide an overview of the current knowledge about the use of obeticholic acid in the field of nonviral chronic liver diseases. We tried to give a global point of view using a translational approach.