Background: Several adipocytokines have been implicated in the pathogenesis non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD).
Aim: To assess adipocytokines in NAFLD patients and controls.
Methods: A total of 95 patients (26 non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), 19 simple steatosis (SS), 38 obese controls and 12 non-obese controls) were included. Fasting serum insulin, glucose, visfatin, resistin, adiponectin, tumour necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha), interleukin-8 (IL-8) and IL-6 were determined. Univariate and multivariate analyses were used to compare groups and determine associations.
Results: Serum TNF-alpha and IL-8 were higher in NAFLD patients when compared with both obese and non-obese controls. Analysis involving all patients revealed a significant correlation between serum TNF-alpha and IL-8 (P < 6.319e-08), and between IL-6 and IL-8 (P < 5.271e-15). Homeostatic model assessment scores negatively correlated with adiponectin in NAFLD (P < 0.0032). Serum visfatin was higher in all three obese groups than in non-obese controls (P < 0.02, P < 0.002 and P < 0.008). Visfatin in NASH patients was lower than SS and obese controls. Although TNF-alpha was associated with NAFLD (P < 0.02), it was interdependent on visfatin. In comparison to SS, four factors were independently associated with NASH: age, alanine aminotransferase, IL-8 and adiponectin (P < 0.05). Multivariate analysis indicated that TNF-alpha was the only independent predictor of fibrosis in NASH (P < 0.0004).
Conclusion: These findings support a complex interaction between adipocytokines and the pathogenesis of NAFLD.