Association of plasma visfatin with hepatic and systemic inflammation in nonalcoholic fatty liver disease

Ann Hepatol. 2013 Jul-Aug;12(4):548-55.


Background: Visfatin is a proinflammatory and insulin-mimetic adipokine contributing to whole body glucose and lipid metabolism. Studies to date are conflicting regarding the relationship between visfatin and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). The aim of the present study was to evaluate the relationship of circulating visfatin with NAFLD.

Material and methods: The study included 114 NAFLD patients and 60 healthy non-diabetic controls. Plasma visfatin, adiponectin, tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) and interleukin-6 (IL-6) levels were measured by ELISA. High sensitive C-reactive protein (hsCRP) levels were measured by immunoturbidimetric fixed rate method. Insulin sensitivity determined by homeostasis model assessment (HOMA-IR) index.

Results: TNF-α, IL-6 and hsCRP levels were higher and, Adiponectin levels were lower in NAFLD group when compared to healthy controls (p < 0.001, for all). However, no difference was found regarding to visfatin levels between two groups. Different histologic subgroups of NAFLD had a significantly higher TNF-α, IL-6 and hsCRP, and lower adiponectin levels than those with controls (p < 0.001, for all). On the other hand, no statistically significant difference was found regarding to visfatin levels among different histologic groups. Visfatin was found to be negatively correlated with TNF-α (r = -0.236, p = 0.011) in NAFLD group. However, no association was found between visfatin and histological findings.

Conclusion: Our findings show that plasma visfatin levels are not altered in the early stages of NAFLD. However, it is inversely associated with TNF-α. These findings suggest a role for visfatin in protection against liver injury in this widespread disease.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adiponectin / blood
  • Adult
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Biopsy
  • C-Reactive Protein / analysis
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Cytokines / blood*
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • Fatty Liver / blood*
  • Fatty Liver / immunology
  • Fatty Liver / pathology
  • Hepatitis / blood*
  • Hepatitis / immunology
  • Hepatitis / pathology
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / blood*
  • Inflammation / immunology
  • Inflammation / pathology
  • Inflammation Mediators / blood*
  • Insulin / blood
  • Interleukin-6 / blood
  • Liver / immunology
  • Liver / pathology
  • Liver Cirrhosis / blood
  • Liver Cirrhosis / immunology
  • Liver Cirrhosis / pathology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nephelometry and Turbidimetry
  • Nicotinamide Phosphoribosyltransferase / blood*
  • Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / blood
  • Young Adult


  • ADIPOQ protein, human
  • Adiponectin
  • Biomarkers
  • Cytokines
  • IL6 protein, human
  • Inflammation Mediators
  • Insulin
  • Interleukin-6
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha
  • C-Reactive Protein
  • Nicotinamide Phosphoribosyltransferase
  • nicotinamide phosphoribosyltransferase, human