Background and aim: Hypoadiponectinemia and high tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) levels are associated with the development of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). This study aimed to investigate the genetic polymorphisms of adiponectin and TNF-alpha in Chinese NAFLD patients and their association with disease severity.
Methods: Seventy-nine patients with histology-proven NAFLD (61 with simple steatosis and 18 with stage 2-4 fibrosis) and 40 controls were tested for the nucleotide polymorphisms at adiponectin -11 391, -11 377, +45, and +276 and TNF-alpha promoters -863, -308, and -238.
Results: There was no significant deviation in the adiponectin and TNF-alpha gene polymorphisms between NAFLD patients and controls, or between patients with simple steatosis and those with stage 2-4 fibrosis. NAFLD patients with -11377G and +45G at the adiponectin gene were more likely to have hypertriglyceridemia. On multivariate analysis, older age, higher body mass index, and higher fasting glucose were independent factors associated with stage 2-4 fibrosis in NAFLD patients.
Conclusions: Adiponectin and TNF-alpha gene polymorphisms were not shown to be associated with NAFLD or significant fibrosis in Chinese people. The adiponectin -11377G and +45G alleles were associated with hypertriglyceridemia in NAFLD patients. Since the current study is not adequately powered to detect smaller differences in allele frequencies, larger-sized studies in different ethnic groups are required.