Type 1 autoimmune hepatitis and adipokines: new markers for activity and disease progression?

Department of Internal Medicine, University of Turin, Turin, Italy.
Journal of Gastroenterology (Impact Factor: 4.02). 04/2009; 44(5):476-82. DOI: 10.1007/s00535-009-0023-0
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Cytokines may play an important role as inflammatory factors in liver diseases. There is some evidence suggesting a link between adiponectin-biliary function and liver disease. The aim of this study was to clarify the behavior of adipokines in autoimmune hepatitis type 1.
We assessed the circulating levels of adiponectin, tumor necrosis factor-alpha, resistin and leptin in 42 patients with autoimmune hepatitis, comparing them with 42 healthy subjects who were matched for age and sex and with 31 patients with nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), evaluating the associations with markers of cytolysis, cholestasis, and histological severity.
Adiponectin and TNF-alpha values were higher in patients compared to controls. The patients showed significantly higher Homeostasis Model Assessment values, suggesting an increased insulin resistance and serum levels of adiponectin positively correlated with gamma-glutamyltranspeptidase and alkaline phosphatase values after a simple regression analysis. Serum levels of resistin positively correlated with elevated aminotransferases and bilirubin values, and serum levels of TNF-alpha positively correlated with elevated alanine-aminotransferase and resistin values. The concentration of adiponectin increased significantly with staging of the disease. Patients with NASH showed lower levels of adiponectin and higher levels of resistin than AIH patients and controls.
Patients with AIH showed significantly higher adiponectin concentrations than controls despite their higher HOMA-IR values. The significant correlation between adiponectin levels and serological features of cholestasis suggested an association with biliary function. Our results indicate that adiponectin may be a possible marker for disease progression in AIH.

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