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Definitions of Normal Liver Fat and the Association of Insulin Sensitivity with Acquired and Genetic Definitions of Normal Liver Fat and the Association of Insulin Sensitivity with Acquired and Genetic

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Date added: 01/10/2017
Date modified: 01/10/2017
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Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) covers a spectrum of disease ranging from simple steatosis (NAFL) to non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) and fibrosis. “Obese/Metabolic NAFLD” is closely associated with obesity and insulin resistance and therefore predisposes to type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. NAFLD can also be caused by common genetic variants, the patatin-like phospholipase domain-containing 3 (PNPLA3) or the transmembrane 6 superfamily member 2 (TM6SF2). Since NAFL, irrespective of its cause, can progress to NASH and liver fibrosis, its definition is of interest. We reviewed the literature to identify data on definition of normal liver fat using liver histology and different imaging tools, and analyzed whether NAFLD caused by the gene variants is associated with insulin resistance. Histologically, normal liver fat content in liver biopsies is most commonly defined as macroscopic steatosis in less than 5% of hepatocytes. In the population-based Dallas Heart Study, the upper 95th percentile of liver fat measured by proton magnetic spectroscopy (1H-MRS) in healthy subjects was 5.6%, which corresponds to approximately 15% histological liver fat. When measured by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)-based techniques such as the proton density fat fraction (PDFF), 5% macroscopic steatosis corresponds to a PDFF of 6% to 6.4%. In contrast to “Obese/metabolic NAFLD”, NAFLD caused by genetic variants is not associated with insulin resistance. This implies that NAFLD is heterogeneous and that “Obese/Metabolic NAFLD” but not NAFLD due to the PNPLA3 or TM6SF2 genetic variants predisposes to type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

Phosphorylated IGFBP-1 as a non-invasive predictor of liver fat in NAFLD Phosphorylated IGFBP-1 as a non-invasive predictor of liver fat in NAFLD

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Date added: 01/10/2017
Date modified: 01/10/2017
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Insulin-like growth factor binding protein 1 (IGFBP-1) is a potentially interesting marker for liver fat in NAFLD as it is exclusively produced by the liver, and insulin is its main regulator. We determined whether measurement of fasting serum phosphorylated IGFBP-1 (fS-pIGFBP-1) helps to predict liver fat compared to routinely available clinical parameters and PNPLA3 genotype at rs738409. Liver fat content (proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy) was measured in 378 subjects (62% women, age 43 [30–54] years, BMI 32.7 [28.1–39.7] kg/m2, 46% with NAFLD). Subjects were randomized to discovery and validation groups, which were matched for clinical and biochemical parameters and PNPLA3 genotype. Multiple linear regression and Random Forest modeling were used to identify predictors of liver fat. The final model, % Liver Fat Equation’, included age, fS-pIGFBP-1, S-ALT, waist-to-hip ratio, fP-Glucose and fS-Insulin (adjusted R2 = 0.44 in the discovery group, 0.49 in the validation group, 0.47 in all subjects). The model was significantly better than a model without fS-pIGFBP-1 or S-ALT or S-AST alone. Random Forest modeling identified fS-p-IGFBP-1 as one of the top five predictors of liver fat (adjusted R2 = 0.39). Therefore, measurement of fS-pIGFBP-1 may help in non-invasive prediction of liver fat content.

Genome-scale study reveals reduced metabolic adaptability in patients with NAFLD Genome-scale study reveals reduced metabolic adaptability in patients with NAFLD

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Date added: 02/20/2016
Date modified: 11/07/2016
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Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is a major risk factor leading to chronic liver disease and type 2 diabetes. Here we chart liver metabolic activity and functionality in NAFLD by integrating global transcriptomic data, from human liver biopsies, and metabolic flux data, measured across the human splanchnic vascular bed, within a genome-scale model of human metabolism. We show that an increased amount of liver fat induces mitochondrial metabolism, lipolysis, glyceroneogenesis and a switch from lactate to glycerol as substrate for gluconeogenesis, indicating an intricate balance of exacerbated opposite metabolic processes in glycemic regulation. These changes were associated with reduced metabolic adaptability on a network level in the sense that liver fat accumulation puts increasing demands on the liver to adaptively regulate metabolic responses to maintain basic liver functions. We propose that failure to meet excessive metabolic challenges coupled with reduced metabolic adaptability may lead to a vicious pathogenic cycle leading to the co-morbidities of NAFLD.

Plasma DNA methylation: A potential biomarker for stratification of liver fibrosis in NAFLD Plasma DNA methylation: A potential biomarker for stratification of liver fibrosis in NAFLD

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Date added: 05/22/2016
Date modified: 09/27/2016
Filesize: 2.77 MB
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Liver biopsy is currently the most reliable way of evaluating liver fibrosis in patients with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). Its inherent risks limit its widespread use. Differential liver DNA methylation of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (PPARγ) gene promoter has recently been shown to stratify patients in terms of fibrosis severity but requires access to liver tissue. The aim of this study was to assess whether DNA methylation of circulating DNA could be detected in human plasma and potentially used to stratify liver fibrosis severity in patients with NAFLD.

Genetic Factors that Affect Risk of Alcoholic and Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease Genetic Factors that Affect Risk of Alcoholic and Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease

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Date added: 03/05/2017
Date modified: 03/05/2017
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Genome-wide association studies and candidate gene studies have informed our understanding of factors contributing to the well-recognized interindividual variation in the progression and outcomes of alcoholic liver disease and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. We discuss the mounting evidence for shared modifiers and common pathophysiological processes that contribute to development of both diseases. We discuss the functions of proteins encoded by risk variants of genes including patatin-like phospholipase domain-containing 3 and transmembrane 6 superfamily member 2, as well as epigenetic factors that contribute to the pathogenesis of alcoholic liver disease and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. We also discuss important areas of future genetic research and their potential to affect clinical management of patients.

Lipotoxicity, obesity and metabolic diseases Lipotoxicity, obesity and metabolic diseases

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Date added: 03/07/2017
Date modified: 03/07/2017
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Article published in the Newsletter of the Spanish Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (SEBBM)

The MBOAT7 variant rs641738 alters hepatic phosphatidylinositols and increases severity of NAFLD The MBOAT7 variant rs641738 alters hepatic phosphatidylinositols and increases severity of NAFLD

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Date added: 03/08/2017
Date modified: 03/08/2017
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We have recently shown in 125 subjects that insulin resistance and the PNPLA3 I148M gene variant, two common risk factors of NAFLD, are characterized with markedly different content and composition of lipids in the human liver. In 2015, a variant in membrane bound O-acyltransferase domain containing 7 (MBOAT7) at rs641738 was discovered to increase the risk of alcohol-related cirrhosis. This variant was also shown to increase the risk of steatosis and histologic liver damage in NAFLD, independent of obesity.

Emerging anti-fibrotic therapies in the treatment of non-alcoholic steatohepatitis Emerging anti-fibrotic therapies in the treatment of non-alcoholic steatohepatitis

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Date added: 03/05/2017
Date modified: 03/05/2017
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Background

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) can lead to non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) and cirrhosis. Fibrosis predicts worse outcomes and mortality. New treatments targeting fibrosis are being investigated to reverse disease progression.

Aim

To review the new pipeline therapeutic agents targeting fibrosis in NASH patients, with particular focus on clinical trials in which reversing fibrosis and portal hypertension are the primary outcomes.

Methods

The literature was searched in PubMed between January 2000 and January 2016 using search terms non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and NASH, with filters of ‘English language’. We focused on fibrosis improvement as the key outcome. We also searched the ClinicalTrials.gov for promising agents that target fibrosis in NASH patients.

Results

Significant advances have been made on approaches targeting fibrosis in NASH patients. Many therapeutic agents are already in development, some of which have shown promising results in preclinical and phase I studies. Novel therapies have entered phase II and III studies targeting fibrosis reversal and/or improvement in portal hypertension. Innovative studies have also started looking into combining these agents, aiming at different mechanisms to maximise therapeutic outcomes. We found five clinical trials in phase II and one in phase III focusing on fibrosis in NASH patients as key outcomes. One of the phase II trials is using combination therapy to target fibrosis.

Conclusions

Ongoing research studies are already investigating new pathways aimed at reversing fibrosis in NASH patients. Novel therapeutic agents are in development and are expected to offer unique options to NASH patients with advanced fibrosis.

Obesity/insulin resistance rather than liver fat increases coagulation factor activities and express Obesity/insulin resistance rather than liver fat increases coagulation factor activities and express

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Date added: 03/08/2017
Date modified: 03/08/2017
Filesize: 256 Bytes
Downloads: 1517

Increased liver fat may be caused by insulin resistance and adipose tissue inflammation or by the common I148M variant in PNPLA3 at rs738409, which lacks both of these features. We hypothesised that obesity/insulin resistance rather than liver fat increases circulating coagulation factor activities. We measured plasma prothrombin time (PT, Owren method), activated partial thromboplastin time (APTT), activities of several coagulation factors, VWF:RCo and fibrinogen, and D-dimer concentration in 92 subjects divided into groups based on insulin sensitivity and PNPLA3 genotype.

We conclude that obesity/insulin resistance rather than an increase in liver fat is associated with a procoagulant plasma profile. This reflects adipose tissue inflammation and increased hepatic production of coagulation factors and their susceptibility for activation.

Fibrogenesis assessed by serological type III collagen formation identifies patients with progressiv Fibrogenesis assessed by serological type III collagen formation identifies patients with progressiv

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Date added: 11/07/2016
Date modified: 11/07/2016
Filesize: 256 Bytes
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Elevated Pro-C3 levels are indicative of active fibrogenesis and structural progression of fibrosis and can potentially identify patients most likely to benefit from anti-metabolic and potential anti-fibrotic treatments. Serum Pro-C3 may facilitate patient selection and could help to speed up anti-fibrotic drug development and validation.