Background: Obesity is associated with metabolic derangement and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). Macrophages are involved in liver inflammation and fibrosis, and soluble (s)CD163 is a macrophage activation marker.
Objectives: To associate sCD163 with parameters of paediatric obesity and NAFLD, as well as changes in these parameters during lifestyle intervention.
Methods: We studied 117 obese children during a 10-week lifestyle intervention; 71 completed the 12-month follow-up. We recorded clinical and biochemical data, and performed liver ultrasonography.
Results: Baseline sCD163 was higher in children with elevated alanine transaminase (ALT) (2.3 ± 0.7 vs. 2.0 ± 0.6 mg L(-1), P = 0.03), steatosis (2.3 ± 0.7 vs. 2.0 ± 0.6 mg L(-1), P = 0.01) and high paediatric NAFLD fibrosis index (2.3 ± 0.7 vs. 1.9 ± 0.6 mg L(-1) , P = 0.03). Baseline sCD163 was independently associated with ALT, cholesterol and high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP). The change in sCD163 during lifestyle intervention was associated with changes in ALT, homeostatic model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR), hs-CRP and cholesterol, and inversely associated with the change in high-density lipoprotein cholesterol.
Conclusion: sCD163 was associated with markers of liver injury and metabolic parameters in obese children, and changes in these parameters during lifestyle intervention. This may suggest that activated macrophages play a role in NAFLD and sCD163 may serve as a marker of liver disease severity and treatment effect.
Keywords: CD163; childhood obesity; macrophages; non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.
© 2014 The Authors. Pediatric Obesity © 2014 World Obesity.