Chronic Pancreatitis Is Characterized by Elevated Circulating Periostin Levels Related to Intra-Pancreatic Fat Deposition

J Clin Med Res. 2020 Sep;12(9):568-578. doi: 10.14740/jocmr4279. Epub 2020 Aug 15.


Background: Periostin is a matricellular protein that induces fibrillogenesis and activates cell migration. It is overexpressed in common fibrotic diseases and is also associated with abdominal adiposity/ectopic fat phenotypes. The study aimed to investigate circulating levels of periostin in health and after an attack of pancreatitis, as well as their associations with abdominal adiposity/ectopic fat phenotypes.

Methods: Blood samples were obtained from healthy controls, as well as definite chronic pancreatitis (CP) and acute pancreatitis (AP) individuals during follow-up visits. Fat depositions in the pancreas, liver, skeletal muscle, as well as visceral and subcutaneous fat volumes, were quantified with the use of magnetic resonance imaging. A series of multivariable analyses were conducted, accounting for possible confounders.

Results: A total of 121 individuals were included. Periostin levels were significantly higher in the CP group compared with the other groups in both unadjusted (F = 3.211, P = 0.044) and all adjusted models (F = 4.165, P = 0.019 in the most adjusted model). Intra-pancreatic fat deposition (but not the other fat phenotypes) was significantly associated with periostin concentration in the CP group (β = 49.63, P = 0.034) and explained most of its variance (32.0%).

Conclusions: Individuals with CP, but not healthy individuals or those after clinical resolution of AP, are characterized by elevated circulating levels of periostin that are positively associated with intra-pancreatic fat deposition.

Keywords: Biomarkers; Intra-pancreatic fat; Liver fat; Magnetic resonance imaging; Pancreatitis; Skeletal muscle fat; Subcutaneous fat; Visceral fat.