Abstract Background and aims. Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is strongly associated with obesity and diabetes mellitus. IL-18 is associated with obesity and metabolic syndrome. Our aim was to investigate the relationship of IL-18 with adiponectin and liver histology in subjects with NAFLD who had no additional disorder such as morbid obesity, diabetes mellitus and hypertension. Methods. Plasma levels of IL-18 and adiponectin were measured by ELISA in 96 male subjects with NAFLD [ n 65 for non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) and n 31 for simple steatosis (SS)]. Results. IL-18 levels were not different between the two groups ( p 0.89). There was no signifi cant association of IL-18 with adiponectin, insulin resistance and histopathological fi ndings. Adiponectin was lower in the NASH group compared to the SS group ( p 0.02) and it was found to be negatively correlated with hepatic steatosis and fi brosis (r 0.442, p 0.001 and r 0.292, p 0.02, respectively). Conclusions. This study indicates that circulating IL-18 levels are not altered in male subjects with NAFLD. These results suggest that in the absence of metabolic risk factors, IL-18 per se may not be involved in the pathogenesis of NASH and SS.
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