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Open access

Helle Keinicke, Gao Sun, Caroline M Junker Mentzel, Merete Fredholm, Linu Mary John, Birgitte Andersen, Kirsten Raun, and Marina Kjaergaard

The prevalence of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) has increased dramatically worldwide and, subsequently, also the risk of developing non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), hepatic fibrosis, cirrhosis and cancer. Today, weight loss is the only available treatment, but administration of fibroblast growth factor 21 (FGF21) analogues have, in addition to weight loss, shown improvements on liver metabolic health but the mechanisms behind are not entirely clear. The aim of this study was to investigate the hepatic metabolic profile in response to FGF21 treatment. Diet-induced obese (DIO) mice were treated with s.c. administration of FGF21 or subjected to caloric restriction by switching from high fat diet (HFD) to chow to induce 20% weight loss and changes were compared to vehicle dosed DIO mice. Cumulative caloric intake was reduced by chow, while no differences were observed between FGF21 and vehicle dosed mice. The body weight loss in both treatment groups was associated with reduced body fat mass and hepatic triglycerides (TG), while hepatic cholesterol was slightly decreased by chow. Liver glycogen was decreased by FGF21 and increased by chow. The hepatic gene expression profiles suggest that FGF21 increased uptake of fatty acids and lipoproteins, channeled TGs toward the production of cholesterol and bile acid, reduced lipogenesis and increased hepatic glucose output. Furthermore, FGF21 appeared to reduce inflammation and regulate hepatic leptin receptor-a expression. In conclusion, FGF21 affected several metabolic pathways to reduce hepatic steatosis and improve hepatic health and markedly more genes than diet restriction (61 vs 16 out of 89 investigated genes).

Open access

Emanuela Zaharieva, Zdravko Kamenov, Tsvetelina Velikova, Adelina Tsakova, Yosif El-Darawish, and Haruki Okamura


Interleukin-18 (IL-18) is an inflammatory cytokine found to be elevated in obesity, metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes (T2D) as a part of the chronic low-grade inflammatory process in these states. The aim of the study was to evaluate the interleukin level in patients with latent autoimmune diabetes of the adults (LADA) in comparison to that in T2D subjects.

Materials and methods

IL-18 was analyzed through enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay in 76 participants with T2D and 24 with LADA and 14 control subjects. Evaluation was also carried out in body mass index (BMI)- and glycemic control-matched diabetic patients.


The serum concentration of IL-18 was higher in patients with T2D (389.04 ± 203.44 pg/mL) and LADA (327.04 ± 144.48 pg/mL) than that in control subjects (219.88 ± 91.03 pg/mL), P < 0.05. However, it was not significantly different between both diabetic groups (P = 0.255) despite higher IL-6 (4.78 ± 5.84 vs 1.79 ± 0.96 pg/mL, P < 0.001) and hs-CRP (2.60 ± 1.70 vs 1.29 ± 1.20 mg/L, P = 0.002) level in T2D patients. The results were persistent in BMI-matched subjects with diabetes (IL-18 = 403.48 ± 226.32 vs 329.30 ± 146.30 pg/mL, respectively for T2D and LADA, P = 0.391). The correlations in T2D group concerning HDL cholesterol (r = −0.377, P = 0.001), postprandial glucose (r = 0.244, P = 0.043), IL-6 (r = 0.398, P < 0.001) and hs-CRP (r = 0.427, P = 0.001) were not confirmed in LADA and control subjects.


The IL-18 serum level was higher in T2D and LADA than that in control subjects, but did not differ between both diabetic groups, even when they were BMI matched. Correlations with lipid, glycemic and inflammatory parameters were present in T2D only.

Open access

Marta Fichna, Piotr P Małecki, Magdalena Żurawek, Katarzyna Furman, Bolesław Gębarski, Piotr Fichna, and Marek Ruchała

Since individuals with Addison’s disease (AD) present considerable co-occurrence of additional autoimmune conditions, clustering of autoimmunity was also predicted among their relatives. The study was aimed to assess circulating autoantibodies in first-degree relatives of patients with AD and to correlate them with the established genetic risk factors (PTPN22 rs2476601, CTLA4 rs231775, and BACH2 rs3757247). Antibodies were evaluated using validated commercial assays, and genotyping was performed using TaqMan chemistry. The studied cohort comprised 112 female and 75 male relatives. Circulating autoantibodies were found in 69 relatives (36.9%). Thyroid autoantibodies, that is antibodies to thyroid peroxidase (aTPO) and thyroglobulin (aTg), were detectable in 25.1 and 17.1% relatives, respectively. Antibodies to 21-hydroxylase (a21OH) were found in 5.8% individuals, and beta cell-specific antibodies to ZnT8, GAD, and IA2 were found in 7.5, 8.0, and 2.7%, respectively. The prevalence of a21OH (P = 0.0075; odds ratio (OR) 7.68; 95% CI 1.903–36.0), aTPO (P < 0.0001; OR 3.85; 95% CI 1.873–7.495), and aTg (P < 0.0001; OR 7.73; 95% CI 3.112–19.65), as well as aGAD (P = 0.0303; OR 3.38; 95% CI 1.180–9.123) and aZnT8 (P = 0.032; OR 6.40; 95% CI 1.846–21.91), was significantly increased in carriers of rs2476601 T allele. Moreover, T allele appeared to be a risk factor for multiple circulating autoantibody specificities (P = 0.0009; OR 5.79; 95% CI 1.962–15.81). None of the studied autoantibodies demonstrated significant association with rs231775 in CTLA4 (P > 0.05), and only weak association was detected between BACH2 rs3757247 and circulating aTPO (P = 0.0336; OR 2.12; 95%CI 1.019–4.228). In conclusion, first-degree relatives of patients with AD, carriers of the PTPN22 rs2476601 T allele, are at particular risk of developing autoantibodies to endocrine antigens.