Disclosure: The authors who have taken part in this study declared that they do not have anything to disclose regarding funding or conflict of interest with respect to this manuscript.
A gene variant of PNPLA3, but not of APOC3, is associated with histological parameters of NAFLD in an obese population
Article first published online: 6 JUN 2013
Copyright © 2013 The Obesity Society
Volume 21, Issue 10, pages 2138–2145, October 2013
How to Cite
Verrijken, A., Beckers, S., Francque, S., Hilden, H., Caron, S., Zegers, D., Ruppert, M., Hubens, G., Van Marck, E., Michielsen, P., Staels, B., Taskinen, M.-R., Van Hul, W. and Van Gaal, L. (2013), A gene variant of PNPLA3, but not of APOC3, is associated with histological parameters of NAFLD in an obese population. Obesity, 21: 2138–2145. doi: 10.1002/oby.20366
- Issue published online: 5 OCT 2013
- Article first published online: 6 JUN 2013
- Accepted manuscript online: 20 MAR 2013 01:59AM EST
- Manuscript Accepted: 28 DEC 2012
- Manuscript Revised: 18 OCT 2012
- Manuscript Received: 26 APR 2012
- European Commission as an Integrated Project under the 6th Framework Program. Grant Number: LSHM-CT-2005-018734
Mechanisms explaining the relationship in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), obesity, and insulin resistance are poorly understood. A genetic basis has been suggested. We studied the association between the genes patatin-like phospholipase domain-containing protein 3 (PNPLA3) and apolipoprotein C3 (APOC3) and metabolic and histological parameters of NAFLD in obese patients.
Design and Methods
Overweight and obese patients underwent a metabolic and liver assessment. If NAFLD was suspected, liver biopsy was proposed. APOC3 variant rs2854117 and PNPLA3 variant rs738409 were genotyped.
Four hundred seventy patients were included (61.1% had liver biopsy). The percentage of patients with non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) was significantly different according to the PNPLA3 variant. After adjustment for age and body mass index, the PNPLA3 variant was associated with alanine aminotransferase (P < 0.001) and aspartate aminotransferase (P < 0.001). The PNPLA3 variant was associated with more severe features of steatohepatitis: steatosis (P < 0.001), lobular inflammation (P < 0.001), and ballooning (P = 0.002), but not with liver fibrosis, anthropometry, or insulin resistance. No significant difference in liver histology, anthropometric, or metabolic parameters was found between carriers and non-carriers of the APOC3 variant.
PNPLA3 polymorphism rs738409 was associated with NASH and the severity of necroinflammatory changes independently of metabolic factors. No association between APOC3 gene variant rs2854117 and histological or metabolic parameters of NAFLD was found.