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The bidirectional impacts of alcohol consumption and the metabolic syndrome: cofactors for prog... The bidirectional impacts of alcohol consumption and the metabolic syndrome: cofactors for prog...

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Date added: 11/02/2018
Date modified: 11/02/2018
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"The bidirectional impacts of alcohol consumption and the metabolic syndrome: cofactors for progressive fatty liver disease"

Current medical practice artificially dichotomises a diagnosis of fatty liver disease into one of two common forms: alcoholic liver disease (ALD) and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). Together, these account for the majority of chronic liver diseases worldwide. In recent years, there has been a dramatic increase in the prevalence of obesity and metabolic syndrome within the general population. These factors now coexist with alcohol consumption in a substantial proportion of the population. Each exposure sensitises the liver to the injurious effects of the other; an interaction that drives and potentially accelerates the genesis of liver disease. We review the epidemiological evidence and scientific literature that considers how alcohol consumption interacts with components of the metabolic syndrome to exert synergistic or supra-additive effects on the development and progression of liver disease, before discussing how these interactions may be addressed in clinical practice.

Assessment of Liver Fibrosis Progression and Regression by a Serological Collagen Turnover Profile Assessment of Liver Fibrosis Progression and Regression by a Serological Collagen Turnover Profile

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Date added: 07/29/2019
Date modified: 07/29/2019
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There is a need for noninvasive biomarkers that can identify patients with progressive liver fibrosis and monitor response to antifibrotic therapy. An equally important need is identification of patients with spontaneous fibrosis regression, since they may not need treatment nor be included in clinical studies with fibrosis as end point. Circulating biomarkers, originating from defined fragments of the scar tissue itself, may serve as valuable tools for this aspect of precision medicine. We investigated a panel of serological collagen formation and degradation markers to identify patients likely to regress or progress in absence of a therapeutic intervention. Plasma samples from patients with moderate-stage hepatitis C receiving placebo treatment in a phase II trial of the peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor agonist farglitazar were included. The patients had matched liver biopsies at baseline and 52 wk of follow-up. Serological biomarkers of collagen formation (PRO-C3, PRO-C4, PRO-C5) and collagen degradation (C3M, C4M, and C6M) were analyzed. Logistic regression analysis including PRO-C3 and C6M identified subjects with progressive liver fibrosis with an AUROC of 0.91 (P < 0.0001) and positive and negative predictive values (PPV/NPV) of 75.0%/88.6%. Low levels of PRO-C5 predicted a spontaneous regression phenotype, with an odds ratio of 33.8 times higher compared with patients with high levels (P < 0.0025) with an AUROC of 0.78 (P < 0.0001) and PPV/NPV of 60.0%/95.7%. Two collagen fragments (PRO-C3 and C6M) identified liver fibrosis progressors, and one collagen fragment (PRO-C5) identified liver fibrosis regressors. These biomarkers may improve patient stratification and monitor treatment efficacy in studies with fibrosis as clinical end point.

In this study we report two biomarkers of collagen fragments (PRO-C3 and C6M) that are able to identify liver fibrosis progressors while one biomarker (PRO-C5) identified liver fibrosis regressors. In particular, we present three noninvasive biomarkers that can be used to identify patients with progressive liver fibrosis, monitor response to antifibrotic therapy, and also identify the spontaneous liver fibrosis regression phenotype.

A spotlight on pathogenesis, interactions and novel therapeutic options in NAFLD A spotlight on pathogenesis, interactions and novel therapeutic options in NAFLD

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Date added: 07/29/2019
Date modified: 07/29/2019
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In 2018, there have been substantial advances in our understanding of the risk factors for advanced liver disease in nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, including genetic variants and the gut microbiota. Promising results have also arisen from drugs targeting metabolic pathways involved in the progression of liver damage.

Global burden of NAFLD and NASH: trends, predictions, risk factors and prevention Global burden of NAFLD and NASH: trends, predictions, risk factors and prevention

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Date added: 11/01/2018
Date modified: 11/01/2018
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NAFLD is one of the most important causes of liver disease worldwide and will probably emerge as the leading cause of end-stage liver disease in the coming decades, with the disease affecting both adults and children. The epidemiology and demographic characteristics of NAFLD vary worldwide, usually parallel to the prevalence of obesity, but a substantial proportion of patients are lean. The large number of patients with NAFLD with potential for progressive liver disease creates challenges for screening, as the diagnosis of NASH necessitates invasive liver biopsy. Furthermore, individuals with NAFLD have a high frequency of metabolic comorbidities and could place a growing strain on health-care systems from their need for management. While awaiting the development effective therapies, this disease warrants the attention of primary care physicians, specialists and health policy makers.

Lipidomes in health and disease: Analytical strategies and considerations Lipidomes in health and disease: Analytical strategies and considerations

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Date added: 12/23/2019
Date modified: 12/23/2019
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Lipidomics is a rapidly-growing field which focuses on global characterization of lipids at molecular and systems levels. As small changes in the concentrations of lipids may have important physiological consequences, much attention in the field has recently been paid to more accurate quantitation and identification of lipids. Community-wide efforts have been initiated, aiming to develop best practices for lipidomic analyses and reporting of lipidomic data. Nevertheless, current approaches for comprehensive analysis of lipidomes have some inherent challenges and limitations. Additionally, there is, currently, limited knowledge concerning the impacts of various external and internal exposures on lipid levels. In this review, we discuss the recent progress in lipidomics analysis, with a primary focus on analytical approaches, as well as on the different sources of variation in quantifying lipid levels, both technical and biological.

Liver fibrosis: Direct antifibrotic agents and targeted therapies Liver fibrosis: Direct antifibrotic agents and targeted therapies

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Date added: 12/31/2018
Date modified: 12/31/2018
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Liver fibrosis and in particular cirrhosis are the major causes of morbidity and mortality of patients with chronic liver disease. Their prevention or reversal have become major endpoints in clinical trials with novel liver specific drugs. Remarkable progress has been made with therapies that efficiently address the cause of the underlying liver disease, as in chronic hepatitis B and C. Highly effective antiviral therapy can prevent progression or even induce reversal in the majority of patients, but such treatment remains elusive for the majority of liver patients with advanced alcoholic or nonalcoholic steatohepatitis, genetic or autoimmune liver diseases. Moreover, drugs that would speed up fibrosis reversal are needed for patients with cirrhosis, since even with effective causal therapy reversal is slow or the disease may further progress. Therefore, highly efficient and specific antifibrotic agents are needed that can address advanced fibrosis, i.e., the detrimental downstream result of all chronic liver diseases. This review discusses targeted antifibrotic therapies that address molecules and mechanisms that are central to fibrogenesis or fibrolysis, including strategies that allow targeting of activated hepatic stellate cells and myofibroblasts and other fibrogenic effector cells. Focus is on collagen synthesis, integrins and cells and mechanisms specific including specific downregulation of TGFbeta signaling, major extracellular matrix (ECM) components, ECM-crosslinking, and ECM-receptors such as integrins and discoidin domain receptors, ECM-crosslinking and methods for targeted delivery of small interfering RNA, antisense oligonucleotides and small molecules to increase potency and reduce side effects. With an increased understanding of the biology of the ECM and liver fibrosis and an improved preclinical validation, the translation of these approaches to the clinic is currently ongoing. Application to patients with liver fibrosis and a personalized treatment is tightly linked to the development of non-invasive biomarkers of fibrosis, fibrogenesis and fibrolysis.

Should we undertake surveillance for HCC in patients with NAFLD? Should we undertake surveillance for HCC in patients with NAFLD?

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Date added: 11/02/2018
Date modified: 11/02/2018
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The pandemic of obesity and its related complications is rapidly changing the epidemiology of many types of cancer, including hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is becoming a major cause of HCC, with a steadily rising trend compared to viral or alcohol-induced chronic hepatitis. The much greater prevalence of the underlying liver disease in the general population and the chance of HCC occurrence in non-cirrhotic liver are the most worrisome aspects of HCC in NAFLD. Effective screening programmes are currently hampered by limited knowledge of the pathways of carcinogenesis and a lack of tools able to stratify the risk of HCC in the NAFLD population. Hence, poor surveillance has prevented the development of an adequate treatment for NAFLD-related HCC. Systemic and hepatic molecular mechanisms involved in hepatocarcinogenesis, as well as potential early markers of HCC are being extensively investigated. This review describes the current clinical impact of HCC in NAFLD and discusses the most important unmet needs for its effective management.

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.

Altered amino acid concentrations in NAFLD: Impact of obesity and insulin resistance Altered amino acid concentrations in NAFLD: Impact of obesity and insulin resistance

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Date added: 11/01/2018
Date modified: 11/01/2018
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Plasma concentrations of amino acids (AAs), in particular, branched chain AAs (BCAAs), are often found increased in nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD); however, if this is due to increased muscular protein catabolism, obesity, and/or increased insulin resistance (IR) or impaired tissue metabolism is unknown. Thus, we evaluated a) if subjects with NAFLD without obesity (NAFLD-NO) compared to those with obesity (NAFLD-Ob) display altered plasma AAs compared to controls (CTs); and b) if AA concentrations are associated with IR and liver histology. Glutamic acid, serine, and glycine concentrations are known to be altered in NAFLD. Because these AAs are involved in glutathione synthesis, we hypothesized they might be related to the severity of NAFLD. We therefore measured the AA profile of 44 subjects with NAFLD without diabetes and who had a liver biopsy (29 NAFLD-NO and 15 NAFLD-Ob) and 20 CTs without obesity, by gas chromatography–mass
spectrometry, homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance, hepatic IR (Hep-IR; Hep-IR 5 endogenous glucose production 3 insulin), and the new glutamate–serine–glycine (GSG) index (glutamate/[serine 1 glycine]) and tested for an association with liver histology. Most AAs were increased only in NAFLD-Ob subjects. Only alanine, glutamate, isoleucine, and valine, but not leucine, were increased in NAFLD-NO subjects compared to CTs. Glutamate, tyrosine, and the GSG-index were correlated with Hep-IR. The GSG-index correlated with liver enzymes, in particular, gamma-glutamyltransferase (R 5 0.70), independent of body mass index. Ballooning and/or inflammation at liver biopsy were associated with increased plasma BCAAs and aromatic AAs and were mildly associated with the GSG-index, while only the new GSG-index was able to discriminate fibrosis F3-4 from F0-2 in this cohort.

Conclusion: Increased plasma AA concentrations were observed mainly in subjects with obesity and NAFLD, likely as a consequence of increased IR and protein catabolism. The GSG-index is a possible marker of severity of liver disease independent of body mass index.

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.