Aim: Non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) patients frequently have hypertension, which is considered to be an important predictive factor for the subsequent development of hepatic fibrosis. The renin-angiotensin system is also known to contribute to the progression of NASH. Various types of functional single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) involved in the development of NASH have been proposed. Angiotensinogen (AGT) gene SNPs related to cardiovascular diseases have been reported. We aimed to evaluate the involvement of the AGT gene haplotype in Japanese NASH patients.
Methods: Previously described genotypes of SNPs of the AGT gene, rs4762 C/T polymorphism (T207M), rs699 C/T polymorphism (T268M), and rs7079 C/A polymorphism (C11537A), were determined in 124 Japanese biopsy-proven NASH patients and 150 healthy volunteers (controls).
Results: The allele and genotype frequencies in rs4762 and rs699 SNPs in NASH patients were similar to those in controls, while the frequency of the A allele and A/- genotype in rs7079 SNPs were much higher in NASH patients than in controls. In addition, the 3-SNP haplotype CTA was significantly over-represented in NASH patients compared with controls. Regarding clinical features of NASH patients, diastolic blood pressures in patients with the CTA/- genotype were much higher than in patients with other genotypes.
Conclusions: We found a 3-SNP haplotype of the AGT gene that is involved in the development of NASH and influences hypertension in NASH patients. These results provide new insight into the therapy of NASH patients with the CTA haplotype using ACE inhibitors or angiotensin II type 1 receptor blockers.