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.