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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.

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
Downloads: 775

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.

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
Filesize: 536.46 kB
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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.

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
Filesize: 661.91 kB
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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
Filesize: 505.25 kB
Downloads: 596

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.

Lipid Zonation and Phospholipid Remodeling in Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease Lipid Zonation and Phospholipid Remodeling in Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease

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Date added: 08/22/2017
Date modified: 08/22/2017
Filesize: 1.49 MB
Downloads: 566

Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) can progress from simple steatosis (i.e., nonalcoholic fatty liver [NAFL]) to nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), cirrhosis, and cancer. Currently, the driver for this progression is not fully understood; in particular, it is not known how NAFLD and its early progression affects the distribution of lipids in the liver, producing lipotoxicity and inflammation. In this study, we used dietary and genetic mouse models of NAFL and NASH and translated the results to humans by correlating the spatial distribution of lipids in liver tissue with disease progression using advanced mass spectrometry imaging technology. We identified several lipids with distinct zonal distributions in control and NAFL samples and observed partial to complete loss of lipid zonation in NASH. In addition, we found increased hepatic expression of genes associated with remodeling the phospholipid membrane, release of arachidonic acid (AA) from the membrane, and production of eicosanoid species that promote inflammation and cell injury. The results of our immunohistochemistry analyses suggest that the zonal location of remodeling enzyme LPCAT2 plays a role in the change in spatial distribution for AA-containing lipids. This results in a cycle of AA-enrichment in pericentral hepatocytes, membrane release of AA, and generation of proinflammatory eicosanoids and may account for increased oxidative damage in pericentral regions in NASH. Conclusion: NAFLD is associated not only with lipid enrichment, but also with zonal changes of specific lipids and their associated metabolic pathways. This may play a role in the heterogeneous development of NAFLD.

Nutritional Modulation of Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease and Insulin Resistance Nutritional Modulation of Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease and Insulin Resistance

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Date added: 01/09/2017
Date modified: 01/10/2017
Filesize: 1.02 MB
Downloads: 521

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) covers a spectrum of disorders ranging from simple steatosis (non-alcoholic fatty liver, NAFL) to non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) and cirrhosis. NAFL increases the risk of liver fibrosis. If the liver is fatty due to causes of insulin resistance such as obesity and physical inactivity, it overproduces glucose and triglycerides leading to hyperinsulinemia and a low high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol concentration. The latter features predispose to type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease (CVD). Understanding the impact of nutritional modulation of liver fat content and insulin resistance is therefore of interest for prevention and treatment of NAFLD. Hypocaloric, especially low carbohydrate ketogenic diets rapidly decrease liver fat content and associated metabolic abnormalities. However, any type of caloric restriction seems effective long-term. Isocaloric diets containing 16%–23% fat and 57%–65% carbohydrate lower liver fat compared to diets with 43%–55% fat and 27%–38% carbohydrate. Diets rich in saturated (SFA) as compared to monounsaturated (MUFA) or polyunsaturated (PUFA) fatty acids appear particularly harmful as they increase both liver fat and insulin resistance. Overfeeding either saturated fat or carbohydrate increases liver fat content. Vitamin E supplementation decreases liver fat content as well as fibrosis but has no effect on features of insulin resistance.

Serum endotrophin identifies optimal responders to PPARγ agonists in type 2 diabetes Serum endotrophin identifies optimal responders to PPARγ agonists in type 2 diabetes

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Date added: 03/05/2017
Date modified: 03/05/2017
Filesize: 491.44 kB
Downloads: 518

Aims/hypothesis

The treatment of type 2 diabetes with full peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (PPARγ) agonists improves insulin sensitivity, but is associated with weight gain, heart failure, peripheral oedema and bone loss. Endotrophin, the C-terminal fragment of the α3 chain of procollagen type VI (also called Pro-C6), is involved in both adipose tissue matrix remodelling and metabolic control. We established a serum assay for endotrophin to assess if this novel adipokine could identify type 2 diabetic patients who respond optimally to PPARγ agonists, improving the risk-to-benefit ratio.

Methods

The BALLET trial (NCT00515632) compared the glucose-lowering effects and safety of the partial PPARγ agonist balaglitazone with those of pioglitazone in individuals with type 2 diabetes on stable insulin therapy. The per protocol population (n = 297) was stratified into tertiles based on baseline endotrophin levels. Participants were followed-up after 26 weeks, after which correlational analysis was carried out between endotrophin levels and measures of glucose control. This is a secondary post hoc analysis.

Results

Endotrophin was significantly associated with therapeutic response to balaglitazone and pioglitazone. At week 26, only individuals in the upper two tertiles showed significant reductions in HbA1c and fasting serum glucose compared with baseline. The OR for a 1% and a 0.5% reduction in HbA1c for individuals in the upper two tertiles were 3.83 (95% CI 1.62, 9.04) p < 0.01, and 3.85 (95% CI 1.94, 7.61) p < 0.001, respectively. Endotrophin levels correlated with adipose tissue mass, insulin resistance and fatty liver index. Notably, PPARγ-associated adverse effects, such as moderate-to-severe lower extremity oedema, only occurred in the lower tertile.

Conclusions/interpretation

Elevated endotrophin serum levels predict response to two insulin sensitisers and reduce the risk of associated adverse effects, thereby, identifying patients with type 2 diabetes who may profit from PPARγ agonist treatment.

Serum lipidomics reveals early differential effects of gastric bypass compared to banding on... Serum lipidomics reveals early differential effects of gastric bypass compared to banding on...

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Date added: 02/03/2018
Date modified: 02/03/2018
Filesize: 256 Bytes
Downloads: 340

"Serum lipidomics reveals early differential effects of gastric bypass compared to banding on phospholipids and sphingolipids independent of differences in weight loss"

Background/Objectives:
Circulating phospholipids and sphingolipids are implicated in obesity-related comorbidities such as insulin resistance and cardiovascular disease. How bariatric surgery affects these important lipid markers is poorly understood. We sought to determine whether Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGB), which is associated with greater metabolic improvement, differentially affects the phosphosphingolipidome compared with adjustable gastric banding (AGB).

Subjects/Methods:
Fasting sera were available from 59 obese women (body mass index range 37–51 kg m−2; n=37 RYGB and 22 AGB) before surgery, then at 1 (21 RYGB, 12 AGB) and 3 months follow-up (19 RYGB, 12 AGB). HPLC-MS/MS was used to quantify 131 lipids from nine structural classes. DXA measurements and laboratory parameters were also obtained. The associations between lipids and clinical measurements were studied with P-values adjusted for the false discovery rate (FDR).

Results:
Both surgical procedures rapidly induced weight loss and improved clinical profiles, with RYGB producing better improvements in fat mass, and serum total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol (LDL-C) and orosomucoid (FDR <10%). Ninety-three (of 131) lipids were altered by surgery—the majority decreasing—with 29 lipids differentially affected by RYGB during the study period. The differential effect of the surgeries remained statistically significant for 20 of these lipids after adjusting for differences in weight loss between surgery types. The RYGB signature consisted of phosphatidylcholine species not exceeding 36 carbons, and ceramides and sphingomyelins containing C22 to C25 fatty acids. RYGB also led to a sustained increase in unsaturated ceramide and sphingomyelin species. The RYGB-specific lipid changes were associated with decreases in body weight, total and LDL-C, orosomucoid and increased HOMA-S (FDR <10%).

Conclusions:
Concomitant with greater metabolic improvement, RYGB induced early and sustained changes in phosphatidylcholines, sphingomyelins and ceramides that were independent of greater weight loss. These data suggest that RYGB may specifically alter sphingolipid metabolism, which, in part, could explain the better metabolic outcomes of this surgical procedure.

Age as a Confounding Factor for the Accurate Non-Invasive Diagnosis of Advanced NAFLD Fibrosis Age as a Confounding Factor for the Accurate Non-Invasive Diagnosis of Advanced NAFLD Fibrosis

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Date added: 08/22/2017
Date modified: 08/22/2017
Filesize: 338.38 kB
Downloads: 311

OBJECTIVES: Non-invasive fibrosis scores are widely used to identify/exclude advanced fibrosis in patients with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). However, these scores were principally developed and validated in patients aged between 35 and 65 years of age. The objective of this study was to assess the effect of age on the performance of non-invasive fibrosis tests in NAFLD.

METHODS: Patients were recruited from European specialist hepatology clinics. The cohort was divided into five age-based groups: ≤35 (n=74), 36–45 (n=96), 46–55 (n=197), 56–64 (n=191), and ≥65 years (n=76), and the performance of the aspartate aminotransferase (AST)/alanine transaminase (ALT) ratio, fibrosis 4 (FIB-4), and NAFLD fibrosis score (NFS) for advanced fibrosis (stage F3–F4) for each group was assessed using liver biopsy as the standard.

RESULTS: Six hundred and thirty-four patients were included. The diagnostic accuracy of the AST/ALT ratio was lower than NFS and FIB-4 in all the age groups. The AST/ALT ratio, NFS, and FIB-4 score performed poorly for a diagnosis of advanced fibrosis in those aged ≤35 years (area under the receiver operating characteristic curves (AUROCs 0.52, 0.52, and 0.60, respectively). For all groups >35 years, AUROCs for advanced fibrosis were similar for the NFS and FIB-4 score (range 0.77–0.84). However, the specificity for advanced fibrosis using the FIB-4 and NFS declined with age, becoming unacceptably low in those aged ≥65 years (35% for FIB-4 and 20% for NFS). New cutoffs were derived (and validated) for those aged ≥65 years, which improved specificity to 70% without adversely affecting sensitivity (FIB-4 2.0, sensitivity 77%; NFS 0.12, sensitivity 80%).

CONCLUSIONS: The NFS and FIB-4 scores have similar accuracy for advanced fibrosis in patients aged >35 years. However, the specificity for advanced fibrosis is unacceptably low in patients aged ≥65 years, resulting in a high false positive rate. New thresholds for use in patients aged ≥65 years are proposed to address this issue.