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Metabolism. 2018 Jun;83:120-127. doi: 10.1016/j.metabol.2018.01.023. Epub 2018 Feb 2.

Serum levels of advanced glycation end-products (AGEs) and the decoy soluble receptor for AGEs (sRAGE) can identify non-alcoholic fatty liver disease in age-, sex- and BMI-matched normo-glycemic adults.

Author information

1
Human Nutrition, New Lister Building, School of Medicine, Dentistry and Nursing, College of Medical, Veterinary and Life Sciences, University of Glasgow, Alexandra Parade, Glasgow G31 2ER, UK.
2
Department of Nutrition & Dietetics, School of Health Sciences and Education, Harokopio University, Athens, Greece.
3
Department of Gastroenterology, Meedical School of National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Laiko General Hospital of Athens, Greece.
4
Human Nutrition, New Lister Building, School of Medicine, Dentistry and Nursing, College of Medical, Veterinary and Life Sciences, University of Glasgow, Alexandra Parade, Glasgow G31 2ER, UK. Electronic address: Emilie.combetaspray@glasgow.ac.uk.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is a serious health problem affecting ~25% of the global population. While NAFLD pathogenesis is still unclear, multiple NAFLD parameters, including reduced insulin sensitivity, impaired glucose metabolism and increased oxidative stress are hypothesised to foster the formation of advanced glycation end-products (AGEs). Given the link of AGEs with end organ damage, there is scope to examine the role of the AGE/RAGE axis activation in liver injury and NAFLD.

METHODS:

Age, sex and body mass index matched normo-glycemic NAFLD adults (n = 58) and healthy controls (n = 58) were enrolled in the study. AGEs were analysed by liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (CML, CEL), fluorescence (pentosidine, AGE fluorescence), colorimetry (fructosamine) and ELISA (sRAGE). Their association with liver function, inflammation, fibrosis and stage of NAFLD was examined.

RESULTS:

Early and advanced glycation end-products, except Nε-carboxymethyl-L-lysine (CML), were 10-30% higher, sRAGE levels 1.7-fold lower, and glycation/sRAGE ratios 4-fold higher in the NAFLD cases compared to controls. While AGEs presented weak to moderate correlations with indices of liver function and damage (AST/ALT, HOMA-IR, TNF-α and TGF-β1), including sRAGE to characterize the AGEs/sRAGE axis strengthened the associations observed. High glycation/sRAGE ratios were associated with 1.3 to 14-fold likelihood of lower AST/ALT ratios. The sum of AGEs/sRAGE ratios accurately distinguished between healthy controls and NAFLD patients (area under the curve of 0.85). Elevated AGEs/sRAGE (>7.8 mmol/pmol) was associated with a 12-fold likelihood of the presence of NAFLD.

CONCLUSION:

These findings strengthen the involvement of AGEs-RAGE axis in liver injury and the pathogenesis of NAFLD.

KEYWORDS:

Biomarker; CML; Glycation; Liver; NAFLD; sRAGE

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