Objectives: The aim of the present study was to evaluate whether the lipin1 rs13412852 C>T polymorphism is associated with nonalcoholic steatohepatitis and fibrosis in pediatric Italian patients with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD).
Methods: A total of 142 untreated, consecutive children and 115 adults with biopsy-proven NAFLD and 337 healthy controls without steatosis were studied. Liver histology was assessed by the NAFLD activity score and the rs13412852 polymorphism by a 5′ nuclease Taqman assay.
Results: Homozygosity for the rs13412852 T allele was underrepresented in pediatric, but not adult, patients with NAFLD compared with healthy controls (7% vs 14%; odds ratio [OR] 0.58, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.35–0.91), and it was associated with lower triglycerides both in pediatric patients and healthy controls (P ≤ 0.01). Affected children carrying the rs13412852 TT genotype had a trend for a lower prevalence of nonalcoholic steatohepatitis, and significantly less severe liver damage, as indicated by NAFLD activity score severity (P = 0.026) and a lower prevalence of liver fibrosis (P = 0.012). The negative association between rs13412852 TT genotype and fibrosis was independent of Patatin-like phospholipase domain-containing-3 genotype and other clinical risk factors, including age, waist circumference, the presence of hyperglycemia, and alanine transaminase levels (OR 0.29; 95% CI 0.11–0.66), and it was confirmed at multivariate analysis in adults (OR 0.15; 95% CI 0.02–0.67).
Conclusions: Lipin1 rs13412852 single nucleotide polymorphism is associated with the severity of liver damage and fibrosis progression in pediatric patients with histological NAFLD.