Computational Models of Liver Metabolism: How Far from the Clinics?

Even though the majority of metabolic models has great potential clinical value, either as a diagnostic tool for identifying new drugs or as a tool for the establishment of personalised therapy, their clinical applications are still limited.


Authors:
Tanja Cvitanović, Matthias C. Reichert, Miha Moškon, Miha Mraz, Frank Lammert, Damjana Rozman


Computational models have become indispensable in explaining the dynamics of complex systems, such as the human body and its organs. Such models can also be applied to understanding metabolism, which is fundamental for effective diagnosis and treatment of liver related diseases as well as in understanding drug metabolism. This knowledge can be obtained with systems biology/medicine approaches that account for the complexity of hepatic responses and their consequences in other organs.

In the paper entitled Large-scale computational models of liver metabolism: How far from the clinics?, which was published in the journal Hepatology, researchers from the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Ljubljana (Tanja Cvitanović, Damjana Rozman) and the Faculty of Computer and Information Science of the University of Ljubljana (Miha Moškon, Miha Mraz), in cooperation with the German clinicians from the Saarland University (Matthias C. Reichert, Frank Lammert), introduced the state-of-the-art computational models of liver metabolism. One of those is also the human metabolic model SteatoNet, which was developed at the University of Ljubljana. SteatoNet is able to describe the interactions of the liver with the surrounding tissues, can be adapted to gender or even genome specific data to obtain personalised models and can be used to identify potential biomarkers of liver related diseases. 

Authors of the paper additionally discuss the value of large-scale computational metabolic models in clinical hepatology. Even though the majority of metabolic models has great potential clinical value, either as a diagnostic tool for identifying new drugs or as a tool for the establishment of personalised therapy, their clinical applications are still limited. The article thus represents an important step in the recognition of the importance of metabolic models for clinical practice and paves the way for their introduction into routine clinical work.


Source: CVITANOVIĆ, Tanja, REICHERT, Matthias C., MOŠKON, Miha, MRAZ, Miha, LAMMERT, Frank, ROZMAN, Damjana. Large-scale computational models of liver metabolism: how far from the clinics?. Hepatology, ISSN 0270-9139, 2017, vol. 66, no. 4, pp. 1323-1334, http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/hep.29268/full, doi: 10.1002/hep.29268. [COBISS.SI-ID 1537425347]