Leptin is a peptide hormone that mainly regulates food intake,energy expenditure,body weight and reproductive function.Leptin also releases from activated hepatic stellate cells and may have a role in the regulation of fat deposition,fibrogenesis and inflammation.In human chronically infected by HCV (Hepatitis C virus),the role of leptin-associated steatosis and fibrosis of the liver is still unclear.There is no data in Thai patients with chronic HCV infection by regarding leptin level and its correlation with hepatic histology and fibro-sis.
The purpose of this study was to evaluate the relationship between leptin level and severity of liver fibrosis,steatosis in Thai patients who chronically infected by HCV.
Sixty-six patients (31 men and 35 women)with chronic HCV infection diagnosed on the basis of biochemical data and positive for both anti-HCV antibody and HCV PCR were enrolled.Liver biopsies were done within 3 months after enrollment.Fasting blood samples were obtained and serum leptin levels were measured by using ELISA technique.BMI,blood sugar,liver function test,lipid profile,HCV RNA viral load and HCV genotype were also measured and correlated with histological findings.
Mean serum leptin levels were significantly higher in women than in male (19.3 ±10.5 ng/mL VS 6.5 ±4.9 ng/mL,p <0.001).There was a significantly correlation between serum leptin and BMI (r =0.469,p <0.001).Leptin levels were not associated with hepatic fibrosis (r =0.166,p =0.183), necroinflammation (r = 0.203,p =0.102)and steatosis (r =0.231,p =0.062).Steatosis was significantly associated with severe necroinflammation (r =0.261,p =0.034),but not fibrosis (r =0.22,p =0.076).
These findings failed to demonstrate any usefulness of serum leptin in detecting more advanced liver disease and predicting the presence of hepatic steatosis in Thai patients who chronically infected with HCV.