Efficient computation of the joint probability of multiple inherited risk alleles from pedigree data


Dysregulation of several metabolite pathways, including branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs), are associated with Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD) and insulin resistance in adults, while studies in youth reported conflicting results. We explored whether, independently of obesity and insulin resistance, obese adolescents with NAFLD display a metabolomic signature consistent with disturbances in amino acid and lipid metabolism. A total of 180 plasma metabolites were measured by a targeted metabolomic approach in 78 obese adolescents with (n = 30) or without (n = 48) NAFLD assessed by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). All subjects underwent an oral glucose tolerance test and subsets of patients underwent a two-step hyperinsulinemic-euglycemic clamp and/or a second MRI after a 2.2 ± 0.8-year follow-up. Adolescents with NAFLD had higher plasma levels of valine (p = 0.02), isoleucine (p = 0.03), tryptophan (p = 0.02), and lysine (p = 0.02) after adjustment for confounding factors. Circulating BCAAs were negatively correlated with peripheral and hepatic insulin sensitivity. Furthermore, higher baseline valine levels predicted an increase in hepatic fat content (HFF) at follow-up (p = 0.01). These results indicate that a dysregulation of BCAA metabolism characterizes obese adolescents with NAFLD independently of obesity and insulin resistance and predict an increase in hepatic fat content over time.

Nutrients, 9(7)