Published online Apr 28, 2020. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v26.i16.1861
Peer-review started: December 23, 2019
First decision: February 18, 2020
Revised: March 10, 2020
Accepted: April 17, 2020
Article in press: April 17, 2020
Published online: April 28, 2020
Core tip: In this work, we review the recent advances in our understanding of macrophage biology during the entire spectrum of metabolic associated fatty liver disease (MAFLD) including steatosis, inflammation, fibrosis, and hepatocellular carcinoma, as well as for the extra-hepatic manifestations of MAFLD. We discuss the underlying molecular mechanisms of macrophage activation and polarization as well as cross talk with other cell types such as hepatocytes, hepatic stellate cells and adipose tissue. We conclude with a discussion on the potential translational implications and challenges for macrophage based therapeutics for MAFLD.