Background/aims The aim of this study was to assess the effect of functional ENPP1(ectoenzyme nucleotide pyrophosphate phosphodiesterase 1)/PC-1 (plasma cell antigen-1) and IRS-1 (insulin receptor substrate-1) polymorphisms influencing insulin receptor activity on liver damage in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), the hepatic manifestation of the metabolic syndrome, whose progression is associated with the severity of insulin resistance.
Patients and methods 702 patients with biopsy-proven NAFLD from Italy and the UK, and 310 healthy controls. The Lys121Gln ENPP1/PC-1 and the Gly972Arg IRS-1 polymorphisms were evaluated by restriction analysis. Fibrosis was evaluated according to Kleiner. Insulin signalling activity was evaluated by measuring phosphoAKT levels by western blotting in a subset of obese non-diabetic patients.
Results The ENPP1 121Gln and IRS-1 972Arg polymorphisms were detected in 28.7% and 18.1% of patients and associated with increased body weight/dyslipidaemia and diabetes risk, respectively. The ENPP1 121Gln allele was significantly associated with increased prevalence of fibrosis stage >1 and >2, which was higher in subjects also positive for the 972Arg IRS-1 polymorphism. At multivariate analysis, the presence of the ENPP1 121Gln and IRS-1 972Arg polymorphisms was independently associated with fibrosis >1 (OR 1.55, 95% CI 1.24 to 1.97; and OR 1.57, 95% CI 1.12 to 2.23, respectively). Both polymorphisms were associated with a marked reduction of ∼70% of AKT activation status, reflecting insulin resistance and disease severity, in obese patients with NAFLD.
Conclusions The ENPP1 121Gln and IRS-1 972Arg polymorphisms affecting insulin receptor activity predispose to liver damage and decrease hepatic insulin signalling in patients with NAFLD. Defective insulin signalling may play a causal role in the progression of liver damage in NAFLD.
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An additional table is published online only at http://gut.bmj.com/content/vol59/issue2
PD and LV contributed equally to this work.
Funding The work was supported by the following grants: FIRST Università di Milano 2007, 2008 (LV, SF, ALF); Ricerca corrente Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico 2006 and 2008 (LV, SF); and Centro per lo Studio delle Malattie del Fegato e del Metabolismo.
Competing interests None.
Ethics approval Ospedale Policlinico MaRE IRCCS approved this study.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
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