The classical drug development pipeline necessitates studies using animal models of human disease to gauge future efficacy in humans, however there is a low conversion rate from success in animals to humans. Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is a complex chronic disease without any established therapies and a major field of animal research. We performed a meta-analysis with meta-regression of 603 interventional rodent studies (10,364 animals) in NAFLD to assess which variables influenced treatment response. Weight loss and alleviation of insulin resistance were consistently associated with improvement in NAFLD. Multiple drug classes that do not affect weight in humans caused weight loss in animals. Other study design variables, such as age of animals and dietary composition, influenced the magnitude of treatment effect. Publication bias may have increased effect estimates by 37-79%. These findings help to explain the challenge of reproducibility and translation within the field of metabolism.
- Jake P Mann
- Jake P Mann
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
- Joel K Elmquist, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, United States
- Received: March 3, 2020
- Accepted: October 15, 2020
- Accepted Manuscript published: October 16, 2020 (version 1)
© 2020, Hunter et al.
This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License permitting unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.
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Testosterone products are prescribed to males for a variety of possible health benefits, but causal effects are unclear. Evidence from randomized trials are difficult to obtain, particularly regarding effects on long-term or rare outcomes. Mendelian randomization analyses were performed to infer phenome-wide effects of free testosterone on 461 outcomes in 161,268 males from the UK Biobank study. Lifelong increased free testosterone had beneficial effects on increased bone mineral density, and decreased body fat; adverse effects on decreased HDL, and increased risks of prostate cancer, androgenic alopecia, spinal stenosis, and hypertension; and context-dependent effects on increased haematocrit and decreased C-reactive protein. No benefit was observed for type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular or cognitive outcomes. Mendelian randomization suggests benefits of long-term increased testosterone should be considered against adverse effects, notably increased prostate cancer and hypertension. Well-powered randomized trials are needed to conclusively address risks and benefits of testosterone treatment on these outcomes.
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