TM6SF2rs58542926 is not associated with steatosis and fibrosis in large cohort of patients with genotype 1 chronic hepatitis C

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Abstract

Background & Aims:

We tested the putative association of the rs58542926 variant of TM6SF2, a recently described genetic determinant of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, with steatosis and fibrosis in genotype 1(G1) chronic hepatitis C(CHC) patients.

Methods:

A total of 694 consecutively biopsied Caucasian G1 CHC patients were genotyped for TM6SF2 rs58542926, IL28B rs12979860 and PNPLA3 rs738409. Steatosis was classified as absent (<5%), mild-moderate(5–29%) and severe(≥30%), Fibrosis was considered severe if=F3-F4.

Results:

Carriers of TM6SF2 rs58542926 (6.3% of patients) exhibited lower serum levels of cholesterol (P = 0.04) and triglycerides (P = 0.01), but a similar distribution of steatosis severity (P = 0.63), compared to noncarriers. Prevalence and severity of steatosis were reduced in IL28B C allele carriers (P = 0.005) and elevated in PNPLA3 G allele carriers (P < 0.001). After adjustment for age, gender, body mass index and homoeostasis model assessment score, steatosis severity was independently associated with IL28B rs12979860 (odds ratio [OR] 0.69, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.55–0.86, P = 0.001) and PNPLA3 rs738409 (OR 1.84, 95% CI 1.46–2.83, P < 0.001), but not TM6SF2 rs58542926 (OR 1.48, 95% CI 0.82–2.69, P = 0.19). Variants of TM6SF2 (30.9% vs. 25%, P = 0.40), IL28B and PNPLA3 were not directly associated with fibrosis severity, although variants of IL28B and PNPLA3 promoted steatosis (OR 1.36, 95% CI 1.06–1.75, P = 0.01) that in turn is associated with severe fibrosis.

Conclusions:

In G1 CHC patients, TM6SF2 rs58542926 does not affect the histological severity of liver damage. However, IL28B rs12979860 and PNPLA3 rs738409 modify steatosis.

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