Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is a chronic liver disease that seriously affects public health around the world. We investigate the circulating levels of ANGPTL2, ANGPTL3 and ANGPTL4, and detects the correlation with metabolic and biochemical parameters, then examines the efficacy of ANGPTLs for the assessment of NAFLD. Serum levels of ANGPTL2, ANGPTL3, ANGPTL4 and ANGPTL6 in NAFLD patients (n=52) and non NAFLD subjects (n=52) were quantified by ELISA. Then we further evaluated the utility of ANGPTLs as biomarkers for predicting NAFLD by employing receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analysis. Our data demonstrate that (1) serum levels of ANGPTL2 and ANGPTL4 increased, ANGPTL3 level decreased along with the transition from no NAFLD to NAFLD and from mild NAFLD to moderate-to-severe NAFLD patients. However, ANGPTL6 level unchanged altered among these stages; (2) Pearson association analysis demonstrated that ANGPTL2 levels were positively correlated with ALT, AST and GGT; but ANGPTL3 levels were negatively associated with ALT and GGT; ANGPTL4 levels were positively correlated with ALT, AST and GGT; (3) The area under the ROC curve (AUC) for ANGPTL2, ANGPTL3 and ANGPTL4 were 0.647, 0.746 and 0.666; When the three factors were jointly analyzed, the area under the ROC curve was 0.778, exhibiting the strongest capability in predicting diagnosis in NAFLD patients; (4) The changes of serum ANGPTL2 and ANGPTL3 in NAFLD patients may be due to the changed expression in liver tissues of NAFLD patients; (5) Gene enrichment analysis results show a positive correlation between ANGPTL2 level and the activation of NF-κB signaling in NAFLD samples, and a negative correlation between ANGPTL3 level and the activation of JNK signaling in NAFLD samples. Taken together, ANGPTL2, ANGPTL3 and ANGPTL4 levels might be new and important predictors of the severity of NAFLD.


Y. Ma: None. Y. Wang: None. X. Wang: None. L. Yang: None. J. Lang: None. D. Zhao: None.


National Natural Science Foundation of China; National Science Funding in China

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