OBJECTIVE: Recent evidence suggests that plasminogen-activator inhibitor-1 (PAI-1) is abundantly produced by the fatty liver, but it is unclear whether hepatic steatosis (HS) can mediate the increase in plasma PAI-1 induced by insulin resistance/compensatory hyperinsulinemia (IR/CH). METHODS AND RESULTS: To address this issue, we cross-sectionally evaluated IR/CH as area under the curve of plasma insulin (AUC-PI) concentrations during OGTT, metabolic profile, and ultrasound degree of HS in 235 healthy volunteers (132M, age: 60+/-7 years) with normal transaminase concentrations. Circulating PAI-1 was increased in subjects with classical features of IR/CH (overweight, high fasting and post-OGTT insulin and glucose, high triglycerides (TG), and low HDL-cholesterol), and significantly correlated to prevalence and degree of HS, but not to alcohol intake. In a multivariate model, AUC-PI, TG and degree of HS were independent predictors of plasma PAI-1 (R(2)=0.32). However, AUC-PI was significantly correlated to PAI-1 only in subjects with HS, suggesting an interaction between AUC-PI and HS. In addition, in the presence of HS and IR/CH, PAI-1 concentrations were increased to a similar extent both in heavy and moderate drinkers, suggesting that metabolic and alcoholic steatosis have a similar effect on the relationship between IR/CH and PAI-1. CONCLUSION: These results support the hypothesis that HS has a major impact on the relationship between IR/CH and plasma PAI-1 concentrations, and this effect seems to be unaffected by the etiology of the HS.
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