Association of CTRP13 With Liver Enzymes and Cognitive Symptoms in Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease

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BackgroundNonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is a chronic liver disease in which patients present with metabolic dysregulation and obesity as well as fat accumulation in the liver. Those with NAFLD frequently have symptoms of fatigue, sleep disturbance, depression, and cognitive dysfunction. C1q/TNF-related protein 13 (CTRP13) regulates glucose metabolism and obesity in mice, yet the role of CTRP13 in human NAFLD has not been elucidated.AimsOur aims were to examine whether the plasma levels of CTRP13 are (a) increased in patients with NAFLD; (b) associated with metabolic dysregulation, obesity, liver enzymes, and dyslipidemia; and (c) associated with putative symptoms of NAFLD.MethodsAn observational study was conducted with 23 adults with confirmed NAFLD. Plasma levels of CTRP13, insulin resistance, insulin sensitivity, HbA1C, lipid profile, and liver enzymes were collected. Anthropometric analysis (body mass index, waist–hip circumference ratio) and bioelectrical impedance analysis of body composition were used to assess obesity. Symptom questionnaires were used to assess putative symptoms of NAFLD. Plasma levels of CTRP13 were measured in 21 age- and sex-matched control samples from a biobank. Paired t test was used for comparison of the CTRP13 between NAFLD and controls. Pearson’s correlation coefficients were used to examine associations among variables.ResultsPlasma levels of CTRP13 were significantly higher in patients with NAFLD than in normal controls (p < .001), were associated with higher levels of aspartate aminotransferase, alanine aminotransferase (both p < .05), triglycerides (p < .001), and poorer cognitive function, particularly visuospatial memory (p < .001).ConclusionsCTRP13 may be a surrogate biomarker of NAFLD symptoms and associated with hepatocellular damage, dyslipidemia, and cognitive dysfunction.

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