Investigation of the relationship between genetic and environmental risk factors associated with obesity and insulin resistance in South African patients with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease(NAFLD)

Pretorius, Jakobus (2012-12)

Thesis (MSCMedSc)--Stellenbosch University, 2012.

Includes bibliography

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is the most prevalent chronic liver disease in the world. The disease spectrum of NAFLD extends from steatosis (types 1,2) to non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) with inflammation (types 3,4). The aims of the study were 1) to analytically validate high-throughput real time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) assays for three selected single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), FTO rs9939609 (intron 1 T>A), TNF-α rs1800629 (-308 G>A) and PPARγ rs1801282 (Pro12Ala, 34 C>G), and 2) to perform genotype-phenotype association studies in relation to biochemical abnormalities, disease severity and age of onset. A total of 119 patients with fatty liver identified on ultrasound, including 88 histologically confirmed NAFLD patients, and 166 control individuals were genotyped for the three selected SNPs. RT-PCR validated against direct sequencing as the gold standard was used for detection of genetic variation. All three SNPs were in Hardy Weinberg equilibrium in the study population, except for a deviation in genotype distribution detected for PPARγ rs1801282 in the NAFLD patient subgroup (p<0.001). After adjustment for age and gender, the risk-associated FTO rs9939609 A-allele was detected at a significantly higher frequency in the Caucasian compared with Coloured patients (p=0.005). The opposite was detected for the risk-associated TNF-α rs1800629 A-allele, which occurred at a significantly higher frequency in the Coloured compared with Caucasian NAFLD patients (p=0.034). The onset of fatty liver disease symptoms was on average 5 years younger in the presence of each risk-associated TNF-α rs1800629 A-allele (p=0.028). When considered in the context of an inferred genotype risk score ranging from 0-6, disease onset occurred on average 3 years earlier (p=0.008) in the presence of each risk-associated FTO A-allele, TNF-α A-allele or PPARγ C-allele. After adjustment for age, gender and race, no differences in genotype distribution or allele frequencies were observed between histologically confirmed NAFLD (types 1,2) and NASH (types 3,4) patients, while the minor allele frequency for the TNF-α rs1800629 was significantly higher in the total NAFLD (types 1-4) (p=0.047) as well as NASH subgroup (NAFLD types 3,4) (p=0.030) compared with obese patients without a histologically confirmed NAFLD diagnosis. A significant correlation was furthermore observed between the number of TNF-α rs1800629 A-alleles and increasing CRP levels (p=0.029), with a favourable reduced effect in the presence of low- to moderate alcohol intake. The average waist circumference of physically active NAFLD patients was 12% lower than in physically inactive patients (p=0.004). In view of the results presented in this study, the inclusion of the selected SNPs, and in particular the pro-inflammatory TNF-α rs1800629 polymorphism, may be considered as part of a comprehensive cardiovascular risk evaluation of NAFLD patients. Ultimately, early detection of patients with fatty liver disease symptoms and effective intervention based on the underlying disease mechanism may prevent progression from NAFLD to NASH, shown to be an independent risk factor for cardiovascular diseases.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Nie-alkoholiese lewervervetting (NALV) is die mees algemene kroniese lewersiekte in die wêreld. Die siektespektrum van NALV strek van steatose (vervette lewer tipes 1,2) tot steatohepatitis met inflammasie (NASH tipes 3,4). Die doel van die studie was 1) om analities die hoë omset polimerase kettingreaksie (RT-PKR) metode te valideer vir die geselekteerde enkel nukleotied polimorfismes (ENPs) FTO rs9939609 (intron 1 T>A), TNF-α rs1800629 (-308 G>A) en PPARγ rs1801282 (Pro12Ala, 34 C>G), en 2) om genotipe-fenotipe assosiasie studies uit te voer ten opsigte van relevante biochemiese abnormaliteite, graad van die siekte en aanvangsouderdom. ’n Totaal van 119 pasiënte met vervette lewers is geïdentifiseer met behulp van ultraklank, insluited 88 histologies-bevestigde NALV pasiënte, en 166 kontrole individue. Hierdie pasiënte is gegenotipeer vir die 3 geselekteerde ENP’s. RT-PKR gevalideer met direkte DNA volgorde bepaling as die goue standaard, is gebruik vir opsporing van genetiese variasie. Al die ENP’s was in Hardy Weinberg ekwilibrium in die studie populasie, behalwe vir ’n afwyking in genotipe verspreiding waargeneem vir PPARγ in die NALV subgroep (p<0.001). Nadat aanpassings gemaak is vir ouderdom en geslag, is die risiko-geassosieerde FTO rs9939609 A-alleel waargeneem teen ’n betekenisvol hoër frekwensie in die Kaukasiese pasiënte in vergelyking met Kleurling pasiënte (p=0.005). Die teenoorgestelde is waargeneem vir die risiko-geassosieerde TNF-α rs1800629 A-alleel wat voorgekom het teen ’n betekenisvol hoër frekwensie in die Kleurling NALV pasiënte, in vergelyking met Kaukasiese NALV pasiënte (p=0.034). Die aanvang van NALV was gemiddeld 5 jaar vroeër in die teenwoordigheid van elke risiko-geassosieerde TNF-α rs1800629 A-alleel (p=0.028). Met inagneming van ’n genotipe risiko telling tussen 0–6, het aanvang van siekte gemiddeld 3 jaar vroeër voorgekom (p=0.008) in die teenwoordigheid van elke toenemende risiko-geassosieerde FTO A-alleel, TNF-α A-alleel en PPARγ C-alleel. Nadat aanpassings gemaak is vir ouderdom, geslag en ras, is geen verskille waargeneem in genotipe verspreiding of alleel frekwensies tussen histologies bevestigde NALV (tipes 1,2) en NASH (tipes 3,4) pasiënte nie, terwyl die minor alleel telling vir die TNF-α rs1800629 betekenisvol hoër was in die totale NALV (tipes 1–4) (p=0.047) asook die NASH subgroep (NALV tipes 3,4) (p=0.03) in vergelyking met vetsugtige pasiënte sonder ’n histologies bevestigde diagnose. ‘n Statisties beteknisvolle korrelasie is verder waargeneem tussen die aantal TNF-α rs1800629 A-allele en toenemende CRP vlakke (p=0.029), met n gunstige verlaagde effek in die teenwoordigheid van lae alcohol gebruik. Die gemiddelde middellyf-omtrek van fisies aktiewe NALV pasiënte was 12% minder as fisies onaktiewe pasiente (p=0.004). Na aanleiding van die resultate van hierdie studie behoort insluiting van geselekteerde ENP’s, en in besonder die pro-inflammatoriese TNF-α rs1800629 polimorfisme, as deel van ’n omvattende kardiovaskulere risiko evaluasie oorweeg te word. Aan die einde van die dag mag vroeë identifikasie van NALV pasiente en effektieve intervensie gebasseer op die onderliggende siekte meganisme, vordering tot NASH verhoed wat getoon is om ’n onafhanklike risiko faktor vir kardiovaskulêre siekte te wees.

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