BACKGROUND - Individuals with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), which includes non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), are at increased risk for cardiovascular events, independent of traditional risk factors. Limited data on pro-inflammatory high density lipoprotein (HDL) in NASH exists in the literature. We hypothesized that HDL from individuals with NASH would be more pro-inflammatory than HDL from individuals without NASH.
METHODS - Study participants were individuals with obesity who had undergone bariatric surgery with wedge liver biopsy. Using HDL isolated from serum obtained from study participants at the time of surgery, HDL-elicited macrophage cytokine expression (TNF-α, IL-1β, and IL-6) from THP-1 macrophages, HDL-associated receptor expression (ABCA1 and ABCG1) from apolipoprotein E deficient (apo E) mouse peritoneal macrophages, and isolevuglandin (isoLG) modified HDL were measured.
RESULTS - 11 women with NASH and 15 women without NASH were included in the study. Both TNF-α (P = 0.032) and IL-1β (P = 0.029) were significantly more expressed by THP-1 macrophages exposed to HDL from women with NASH compared to women without NASH. ABCA1 and ABCG1 expression by apo E mouse peritoneal macrophages was not significantly different when exposed to HDL from either women with NASH or women without NASH. IsoLG-modified HDL isolated from the serum of women with NASH trended higher than women without NASH.
CONCLUSION - Our study suggests a more pro-inflammatory HDL in women with obesity and NASH compared to women with obesity and without NASH.
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