Increased brain-derived neurotrophic factor in the serum of persons with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease

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The increasing prevalence of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is a global health problem. In recent years, the inhibitory effect of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) on diabetes mellitus and fatty liver has been clarified. The purpose of this study was to analyze the relationship between serum BDNF and NAFLD which caused by abnormal metabolism of glucose and lipids. This cross-sectional study involved 429 participants (mean age, 63.5 years: men, 38.5%) with low alcohol intake. Of the participants, those who had an increase in echogenicity of the liver parenchyma and hepatorenal contrast on ultrasonography were classified as the NAFLD group (n = 88), and the others were classified as the normal (n = 341) group. The NAFLD group was further classified into a mild group (n = 60) and a severe group (n = 28) based on the intensity of echogenicity and visualization of the hepatic vessels and diaphragm. Median BDNF levels were higher in the NAFLD group than the normal group (35.5 vs. 42.3 ng/mL, p < 0.01). Furthermore, BDNF levels tended to be associated with the severity of NAFLD (p < 0.01). In addition to the univariate analysis, in the sex-and age-adjusted model, there was a significant association between the BDNF levels and NAFLD severity (p < 0.01). The fully adjusted regression analysis also showed a positive association between the serum BDNF level and NAFLD (p < 0.01). These results suggest that NAFLD patients have a compensatory increase in circulating BDNF levels.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)999-1006
Number of pages8
Journalendocrine journal
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology


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