Role of growth hormone, insulin-like growth factor 1 and insulin-like growth factor-binding protein 3 in development of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.
Pituitary dysfunction including growth hormone (GH) deficiency may be associated with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). Since the relationships among GH, IGF-1, IGFBP-3, and development of NAFLD without hypopituitarism are unclear, we examined the role of these hormones in the development of NAFLD based on clinical, laboratory and liver histology data. A total of 55 consecutive patients (20 males and 35 females) with NAFLD. Aspartate amino transferase (AST), AST/ALT, platelet count and IGF-1, levels were significantly associated with differences in fibrosis, since these variables differed between stage 0-1 and stage 2-3 NAFLD. In multivariate analysis, platelet count (P = 0.0223, relative risk (RR), 5.899; 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.288-27.017), and IGF-1 (P = 0.0363, RR, 4.568; 95% CI, 1.101-18.945) showed significant associations with stage 2-3 NAFLD. Additionally, hyaluronic acid levels had a negative relationship with IGF-1 and the IGF-1/IGFBP-3 ratio. There was no relationship of fibrosis with GH level, but decreased GH (P = 0.0414, RR, 0.199; 95% CI, 0.042-0.989) was significantly associated with steatosis of stage 2-3. Low GH/IGF-1 and GH/IGFBP-3 ratios were found in advanced steatosis. GH, IGF-1 and IGFBP-3 are associated with hepatic fibrosis and steatosis in NAFLD. Low levels of IGF-1 might be associated with fibrosis while low level of GH with hepatic steatosis.