Main aim of this study was to evaluate circulating selenoprotein P (SEPP) levels in patients with simple steatosis (SS) and nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) compared with healthy controls.
Thirty-one patients with biopsy-proven NAFLD (15 with SS, 10 with borderline NASH, 6 with definite NASH) and 27 matched controls without NAFLD were enrolled. Serum SEPP levels and liver function tests plus biochemical parameters were measured with ELISA and standard methods, respectively. Homeostatic model of assessment – insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) was calculated.
SEPP levels were statistically different between groups (p-value for trend=0.043). In pairwise comparisons, SEPP was lower in definite NASH compared with controls (p=0.029), but not SS (p=0.18) or borderline NASH (p=0.35). SEPP was not different between controls, SS and borderline NASH. The unadjusted trend between the controls, SS and NASH patients remained essentially unchanged after adjustment for age, sex, log(ALT) and waist circumference, but it marginally lost significance when log(HOMA-IR) entered into the model. SEPP levels were not different between groups of different severity of steatosis, fibrosis, hepatocellular ballooning, lobular and portal inflammation.
Lower SEPP levels were observed in patients with definite NASH compared with controls, a finding warranting larger studies.