Background & Aims: Plasma soluble E-selectin (sE-selectin) is a frequently used biomarker of systemic endothelial dysfunction. The present study explored the relationship between nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and plasma sE-selectin levels. Methods: Expression of E-selectin in liver, visceral adipose tissue (VAT) and muscle was studied in relation to plasma sE-selectin in severely obese individuals (n = 74). The course of hepatic E-selectin expression in relation to hepatic steatosis and inflammation was examined in C57BL/6J LDLR−/− mice on a Western-type diet. The relationship between biomarkers of NAFLD, that is, plasma aminotransferase (ALT) and NAFLD susceptibility genes (rs738409 [PNPLA3] and rs1260326 [GCKR]), and plasma sE-selectin was studied in the combined CODAM (n = 571) and Hoorn (n = 694) studies. Results: E-selectin expression in liver, not VAT or muscle, was associated with plasma sE-selectin in severely obese individuals (β = 0.26; 95% CI: 0.05-0.47). NAFLD severity was associated with hepatic E-selectin expression (P =.02) and plasma sE-selectin (P =.003). LDLR−/− mice on a Western-type diet displayed increased hepatic E-selectin expression that followed the same course as hepatic inflammation, but not steatosis. In the CODAM study, plasma ALT was associated with plasma sE-selectin, independent of potential confounders (β = 0.25; 95% CI: 0.16-0.34). Both rs738409 and rs1260326 were associated with higher plasma sE-selectin in the combined CODAM and Hoorn studies (P =.01 and P =.004 respectively). Conclusions: NAFLD and related markers are associated with higher expression of hepatic E-selectin and higher levels of plasma sE-selectin. Further studies are required to investigate the role of E-selectin in the pathogenesis of NAFLD and the applicability of sE-selectin as a plasma biomarker of NAFLD/NASH.
- genetic epidemiology
- nonalcoholic fatty liver disease
- translational research