Postprandial dysfunction in fatty liver disease

Josephine Grandt, Anne-Sofie H Jensen, Mikkel P Werge, Elias B Rashu, Andreas Møller, Anders Ellekær Junker, Lise Hobolth, Christian Mortensen, Christian D Johansen, Mogens Vyberg, Reza Rafiolsadat Serizawa, Søren Møller, Lise Lotte Gluud, Nicolai J Wewer Albrechtsen


Fatty liver disease has mainly been characterized under fasting conditions. However, as the liver is essential for postprandial homeostasis, identifying postprandial disturbances may be important. Here, we investigated postprandial changes in markers of metabolic dysfunction between healthy individuals, obese individuals with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and patients with cirrhosis. We included individuals with biopsy-proven NAFLD (n = 9, mean age 50 years, mean BMI 35 kg/m2 , no/mild fibrosis), cirrhosis with hepatic steatosis (n = 10, age 62 years, BMI 32 kg/m2 , CHILD A/B) and healthy controls (n = 10, age 23, BMI 25 kg/m2 ), randomized 1:1 to fasting or standardized mixed meal test (postprandial). None of the patients randomized to mixed meal test had type 2 diabetes (T2D). Peripheral blood was collected for 120 min. After 60 min, a transjugular liver biopsy and liver vein blood was taken. Plasma levels of glucose, insulin, C-peptide, glucagon, and fibroblast growth factor 21 (FGF21) were measured. Postprandial peak glucose and C-peptide were significantly increased in NAFLD, and cirrhosis compared with healthy. Patients with NAFLD and cirrhosis had hyperglucagonemia as a potential sign of glucagon resistance. FGF21 was increased in NAFLD and cirrhosis independent of sampling from the liver vein versus peripheral blood. Glucagon levels were higher in the liver vein compared with peripheral blood. Patients with NAFLD and cirrhosis without T2D showed impaired glucose tolerance, hyperinsulinemia, and hyperglucagonemia after a meal compared to healthy individual. Postprandial characterization of patients with NAFLD may be important to capture their metabolic health.

TidsskriftPhysiological Reports
Udgave nummer8
Sider (fra-til)e15653
StatusUdgivet - apr. 2023


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