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Open Access Research article

NOX2-generated oxidative stress is associated with severity of ultrasound liver steatosis in patients with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease

Maria Del Ben1, Licia Polimeni1, Roberto Carnevale1, Simona Bartimoccia1, Cristina Nocella1, Francesco Baratta1, Lorenzo Loffredo1, Pasquale Pignatelli1, Francesco Violi1 and Francesco Angelico23*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Internal Medicine and Medical Specialties, Sapienza University, Rome, Italy

2 Department of Public Health and Infectious Disease, Sapienza University, Rome, Italy

3 I Clinica Medica – Policlinico Umberto I, Viale del Policlinico 155, 00161 Rome, Italy

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BMC Gastroenterology 2014, 14:81  doi:10.1186/1471-230X-14-81

Published: 23 April 2014

Abstract

Background

Chronic oxidative stress is one of the key mechanisms responsible for disease progression in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. However, so far, few studies reported increased circulating levels of oxidative stress markers in patients with non-alcoholic fatty liver and no study has been performed with newer markers of systemic oxidative stress. The aim was to assess the relationship between urinary 8-iso-prostaglandin F2α and serum soluble NOX2-derived peptide and the severity of liver steatosis in subjects with non-alcoholic fatty liver.

Methods

The study was performed in 264 consecutive patients referred for suspected metabolic disease. Steatosis was defined according to Hamaguchi ultrasonographic criteria. Oxidative stress was assessed by urinary 8-iso- prostaglandin F2α and serum soluble NOX2-derived peptide levels.

Results

Patients with non-alcoholic fatty liver had higher (p < 0.001) mean values of urinary 8-iso-PGF2α and of serum soluble NOX2-derived peptide, alanine aminotransferase, Cytokeratin-18 and homeostasis model of insulin resistance and lower values of serum adiponectin as compared to those without. Prevalence of metabolic syndrome and of its clinical features was significantly higher in patients with non-alcoholic fatty liver. Same findings were also observed after the exclusion of obese subjects, or subjects with diabetes or with metabolic syndrome and in those not taking statin medication. In addition, the levels of urinary 8-iso-PGF2α were independent predictors of non-alcoholic fatty liver and a strong association of urinary 8-iso-PGF2α and of serum soluble NOX2-derived peptide with the severity of steatosis at ultrasound was also observed.

Conclusions

We demonstrated increased markers of oxidative stress in subjects with non-alcoholic fatty liver. Urinary 8-iso-PGF2α and serum soluble NOX2-derived peptide levels were independent from obesity, diabetes and metabolic syndrome and increased with the severity of liver steatosis at ultrasound.

Keywords:
Oxidative stress; Non-alcoholic fatty liver; 8-iso-PGF2α; sNOX2-dp; Metabolic syndrome