Background and aim: Advanced glycation end products (AGE), senescent macroprotein derivatives formed at an accelerated rate in diabetes, play important roles in the pathogenesis of diabetic vascular complications. Recently, AGE have also been found to be involved in insulin resistance. Although non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) is generally considered a hepatic manifestation of insulin resistance, there are no reports showing the link of AGE to NASH. The aim of this study was to evaluate the clinical significance of AGE in patients with NASH.
Methods: Glyceraldehyde-derived AGE levels were assayed from serum obtained from 106 patients: 66 with NASH, 10 with simple steatosis, and 30 controls.
Results: Serum glyceraldehyde-derived AGE levels (U/mL) were significantly elevated in NASH patients (9.78 +/- 3.73) compared with simple steatosis (7.17 +/- 2.28, P = 0.018) or healthy controls (6.96 +/- 2.36, P = 0.003). Moreover, these were inversely correlated with adiponectin, an adipocytokine with insulin-sensitizing and anti-inflammatory properties. In addition, immunohistochemistry of glyceraldehyde-derived AGE showed intense staining in the livers of NASH patients.
Conclusion: The present data suggest that the sustained increase of glyceraldehyde-derived AGE could at least in part contribute to the pathogenesis of NASH. The serum glyceraldehyde-derived AGE level may be a useful biomarker for discriminating NASH from simple steatosis.