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1.
Hepatology ; 76(2): 429-444, 2022 Aug.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1669417

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND AND AIMS: To date, no pharmacotherapy exists for pediatric NAFLD. Losartan, an angiotensin II receptor blocker, has been proposed as a treatment due to its antifibrotic effects. APPROACH AND RESULTS: The Nonalcoholic Steatohepatitis Clinical Research Network conducted a multicenter, double-masked, placebo-controlled, randomized clinical trial in children with histologically confirmed NAFLD at 10 sites (September 2018 to April 2020). Inclusion criteria were age 8-17 years, histologic NAFLD activity score ≥ 3, and serum alanine aminotransferase (ALT) ≥ 50 U/l. Children received 100 mg of losartan or placebo orally once daily for 24 weeks. The primary outcome was change in ALT levels from baseline to 24 weeks, and the preset sample size was n = 110. Treatment effects were assessed using linear regression of change in treatment group adjusted for baseline value. Eighty-three participants (81% male, 80% Hispanic) were randomized to losartan (n = 43) or placebo (n = 40). During an enrollment pause, necessitated by the 2019 coronavirus pandemic, an unplanned interim analysis showed low probability (7%) of significant group difference. The Data and Safety Monitoring Board recommended early study termination. Baseline characteristics were similar between groups. The 24-week change in ALT did not differ significantly between losartan versus placebo groups (adjusted mean difference: 1.1 U/l; 95% CI = -30.6, 32.7; p = 0.95), although alkaline phosphatase decreased significantly in the losartan group (adjusted mean difference: -23.4 U/l; 95% CI = -41.5, -5.3; p = 0.01). Systolic blood pressure decreased in the losartan group but increased in placebo (adjusted mean difference: -7.5 mm Hg; 95% CI = -12.2, -2.8; p = 0.002). Compliance by pill counts and numbers and types of adverse events did not differ by group. CONCLUSIONS: Losartan did not significantly reduce ALT in children with NAFLD when compared with placebo.


Subject(s)
Hypertension , Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease , Adolescent , Angiotensin Receptor Antagonists/therapeutic use , Blood Pressure , Child , Double-Blind Method , Female , Humans , Hypertension/drug therapy , Losartan/adverse effects , Losartan/therapeutic use , Male , Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease/chemically induced , Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease/drug therapy , Treatment Outcome
2.
Nat Med ; 27(7): 1262-1271, 2021 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1550325

ABSTRACT

Preclinical and clinical data suggest that fibroblast growth factor 21 (FGF21) is anti-fibrotic, improves metabolic status and has potential to treat non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). We assessed the safety and efficacy of efruxifermin, a long-acting Fc-FGF21 fusion protein, for the treatment of NASH. BALANCED was a randomized, placebo-controlled study in patients with NASH conducted at 27 centers in the United States (ClinicalTrials.gov NCT03976401 ). Eighty patients, stratified by hepatic fat fraction (HFF) and fibrosis stage, were randomized using a centrally administered minimization algorithm 1:1:1:1 to receive placebo (n = 21) or efruxifermin 28 mg (n = 19), efruxifermin 50 mg (n = 20) or efruxifermin 70 mg (n = 20) via weekly subcutaneous injection for 16 weeks. The primary endpoint-absolute change from baseline in HFF measured as magnetic resonance imaging-proton density fat fraction at week 12-was met. For the full analysis set, the least squares mean absolute changes (one-sided 97.5% confidence interval) from baseline in HFF were -12.3% (-infinity (-inf), -10.3), -13.4% (-inf, -11.4) and -14.1% (-inf, -12.1) in the 28-, 50- and 70-mg groups, respectively, versus 0.3% (-inf, 1.6) in the placebo group, with statistically significant differences between efruxifermin groups and placebo (P < 0.0001 each). Overall, 70 of 79 patients who received the study drug (89%) experienced at least one treatment-emergent adverse event (TEAE), with the majority grade 1-2 (64 (81%)), five (6%) grade 3 and one grade 4. The most commonly reported drug-related TEAEs were grade 1-2 gastrointestinal (36 (46%)). Treatment with efruxifermin significantly reduced HFF in patients with F1-F3 stage NASH, with an acceptable safety profile.


Subject(s)
Fibroblast Growth Factors/therapeutic use , Immunoglobulin Fc Fragments/therapeutic use , Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease/drug therapy , Recombinant Fusion Proteins/therapeutic use , Body Mass Index , Double-Blind Method , Female , Humans , Liver/pathology , Liver Cirrhosis/drug therapy , Magnetic Resonance Imaging , Male , Middle Aged , Treatment Outcome
3.
Mol Syst Biol ; 17(10): e10459, 2021 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1498031

ABSTRACT

Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) refers to excess fat accumulation in the liver. In animal experiments and human kinetic study, we found that administration of combined metabolic activators (CMAs) promotes the oxidation of fat, attenuates the resulting oxidative stress, activates mitochondria, and eventually removes excess fat from the liver. Here, we tested the safety and efficacy of CMA in NAFLD patients in a placebo-controlled 10-week study. We found that CMA significantly decreased hepatic steatosis and levels of aspartate aminotransferase, alanine aminotransferase, uric acid, and creatinine, whereas found no differences on these variables in the placebo group after adjustment for weight loss. By integrating clinical data with plasma metabolomics and inflammatory proteomics as well as oral and gut metagenomic data, we revealed the underlying molecular mechanisms associated with the reduced hepatic fat and inflammation in NAFLD patients and identified the key players involved in the host-microbiome interactions. In conclusion, we showed that CMA can be used to develop a pharmacological treatment strategy in NAFLD patients.


Subject(s)
Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease , Animals , Diet, High-Fat , Humans , Inflammation , Liver , Mice , Mice, Inbred C57BL , Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease/drug therapy , Weight Loss
4.
Molecules ; 26(21)2021 Oct 31.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1488679

ABSTRACT

Zinc is the second most abundant trace element in the human body, and it plays a fundamental role in human physiology, being an integral component of hundreds of enzymes and transcription factors. The discovery that zinc atoms may compete with copper for their absorption in the gastrointestinal tract let to introduce zinc in the therapy of Wilson's disease, a congenital disorder of copper metabolism characterized by a systemic copper storage. Nowadays, zinc salts are considered one of the best therapeutic approach in patients affected by Wilson's disease. On the basis of the similarities, at histological level, between Wilson's disease and non-alcoholic liver disease, zinc has been successfully introduced in the therapy of non-alcoholic liver disease, with positive effects both on insulin resistance and oxidative stress. Recently, zinc deficiency has been indicated as a possible factor responsible for the susceptibility of elderly patients to undergo infection by SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus responsible for the COVID-19 pandemic. Here, we present the data correlating zinc deficiency with the insurgence and progression of Covid-19 with low zinc levels associated with severe disease states. Finally, the relevance of zinc supplementation in aged people at risk for SARS-CoV-2 is underlined, with the aim that the zinc-based drug, classically used in the treatment of copper overload, might be recorded as one of the tools reducing the mortality of COVID-19, particularly in elderly people.


Subject(s)
Liver/drug effects , Liver/injuries , Zinc/pharmacology , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/drug therapy , Chelating Agents/metabolism , Copper/metabolism , Hepatolenticular Degeneration/complications , Hepatolenticular Degeneration/drug therapy , Hepatolenticular Degeneration/metabolism , Humans , Liver/metabolism , Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease/drug therapy , Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Zinc/deficiency , Zinc/metabolism
5.
Expert Rev Clin Pharmacol ; 14(4): 457-464, 2021 Apr.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1467264

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Galectin-3 (Gal-3) is a ß-galactoside binding protein associated with many disease pathologies, including chronic inflammation and fibrogenesis. It has been implicated in the disease severity of NASH, although its precise role is unknown. Inhibition of Gal-3 has shown to improve and prevent fibrosis progression and has now reached phase III clinical trial in NASH patients. AREAS COVERED: This discusses the role of Gal-3 in NASH. It brings together the current findings of Gal-3 in NASH and hepatic fibrosis by analyzing recent data from animal model studies and clinical trials. EXPERT OPINION: Gal-3 inhibitors, in particular, Belapectin (GR-MD-02), have shown promising results for NASH with advanced fibrosis. In a phase 2 trial, Belapectin did not meet the primary endpoint. However, a sub-analysis of Belapectin among a separate group of patients without esophageal varices showed 2 mg/kg of GR-MD-02 reduced HVPG and the development of new varices. A subsequent study is under way, aiming to replicate the positive findings in phase 2 and demonstrate greater efficacy. If Belapectin is shown to be effective, it will be coupled with other drugs that target steatohepatitis to maximize efficacy and disease reversal.


Subject(s)
Blood Proteins/antagonists & inhibitors , Galectins/antagonists & inhibitors , Liver Cirrhosis/drug therapy , Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease/drug therapy , Animals , Disease Models, Animal , Disease Progression , Humans , Liver Cirrhosis/metabolism , Liver Cirrhosis/physiopathology , Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease/physiopathology , Pectins/administration & dosage , Pectins/pharmacology , Severity of Illness Index
6.
Lipids Health Dis ; 20(1): 126, 2021 Oct 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1448237

ABSTRACT

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus type 2 (SARS-CoV-2). At present, the COVID-19 has been prevalent worldwide for more than a year and caused more than four million deaths. Liver injury was frequently observed in patients with COVID-19. Recently, a new definition of metabolic dysfunction associated fatty liver disease (MAFLD) was proposed by a panel of international experts, and the relationship between MAFLD and COVID-19 has been actively investigated. Several previous studies indicated that the patients with MAFLD had a higher prevalence of COVID-19 and a tendency to develop severe type of respiratory infection, and others indicated that liver injury would be exacerbated in the patients with MAFLD once infected with COVID-19. The mechanism underlying the relationship between MAFLD and COVID-19 infection has not been thoroughly investigated, and recent studies indicated that multifactorial mechanisms, such as altered host angiotensin converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) receptor expression, direct viral attack, disruption of cholangiocyte function, systemic inflammatory reaction, drug-induced liver injury, hepatic ischemic and hypoxic injury, and MAFLD-related glucose and lipid metabolic disorders, might jointly contribute to both of the adverse hepatic and respiratory outcomes. In this review, we discussed the relationship between MAFLD and COVID-19 based on current available literature, and summarized the recommendations for clinical management of MAFLD patients during the pandemic of COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Anti-Inflammatory Agents/therapeutic use , COVID-19/complications , Chemical and Drug Induced Liver Injury/complications , Hypoxia/complications , Liver/metabolism , Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease/complications , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Age Factors , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19/virology , Chemical and Drug Induced Liver Injury/drug therapy , Chemical and Drug Induced Liver Injury/pathology , Chemical and Drug Induced Liver Injury/virology , Cytokines/genetics , Cytokines/metabolism , Dipeptides/therapeutic use , Gene Expression Regulation , Glucose/metabolism , Glycyrrhizic Acid/therapeutic use , Humans , Hypoxia/drug therapy , Hypoxia/pathology , Hypoxia/virology , Liver/drug effects , Liver/pathology , Liver/virology , Lung/drug effects , Lung/metabolism , Lung/pathology , Lung/virology , Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease/drug therapy , Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease/pathology , Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease/virology , Receptors, Virus/genetics , Receptors, Virus/metabolism , Severity of Illness Index
7.
Lancet Gastroenterol Hepatol ; 6(11): 889-902, 2021 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1433978

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: AMP kinase (AMPK) is an energy sensor implicated in regulation of lipid metabolism, inflammation, and insulin sensitivity. We aimed to assess efficacy and safety of PXL770, a novel direct AMPK activator, in patients with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). METHODS: STAMP-NAFLD, a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled phase 2a study, was done across 15 US clinical sites. Patients aged 18-75 years with liver fat content of at least 10% at baseline when assessed by MRI-proton density fat fraction (MRI-PDFF) were eligible. Patients were randomly assigned (1:1:1:1), via an interactive web response system, to receive oral PXL770 250 mg once daily, 250 mg twice daily, or 500 mg once daily, or matched placebo. Patients were stratified according to type 2 diabetes status and study site. The primary endpoint was relative change in liver fat content from baseline compared with placebo at week 12, assessed by MRI-PDFF. The primary endpoint was analysed in an ANCOVA model with treatment and stratification criteria as factors and baseline liver fat content as a covariate in the modified intention-to-treat population, defined as all as-randomised patients who received at least one dose of study treatment. Safety was analysed in the safety population, defined as all as-treated patients receiving at least one dose of the study treatment. The trial has been completed and the final results are reported. The trial is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT03763877. FINDINGS: Between March 29, 2019, and March 13, 2020, 387 patients were screened, of whom 120 were included in the modified intention-to-treat and safety analyses (30 in the 250 mg once daily group, 30 in the 250 mg twice daily group, 29 in the 500 mg once daily group, and 31 in the placebo group). The mean relative change from baseline in liver fat content at week 12 was -1·1% in the placebo group, -1·0% in the 250 mg once daily group (mean difference versus placebo 0·1% [95% CI -15·4 to 15·7], p=0·99), -14·3% in the 250 mg twice daily group (-13·1% [-28·1 to 1·8], p=0·084), and -14·7% in the 500 mg once daily group (-13·5% [-28·5 to 1·4], p=0·076). At least one treatment-emergent adverse event occurred in 23 (77%) of 30 patients in the 250 mg once daily group, 20 (67%) of 30 patients in the 250 mg twice daily group, 21 (72%) of 29 patients in the 500 mg once daily group, and 21 (68%) of 31 patients in the placebo group. The most common treatment-emergent adverse event was diarrhoea (five [17%] of patients in the 250 mg once daily group, seven [23%] in the 250 mg twice daily group, six [21%] in the 500 mg once daily group, and none in the placebo group). No life-threatening events or treatment-related deaths occurred. INTERPRETATION: PXL770 treatment did not meet the primary outcome of liver fat improvement compared with placebo. Treatment was well tolerated. Given indications that metabolic features improved with PXL770 treatment, AMPK activation might be a promising pharmacological target for patients with type 2 diabetes and NAFLD, and could also be considered for further assessment in patients with non-alcoholic steatohepatitis. FUNDING: Poxel.


Subject(s)
Adenylate Kinase/metabolism , Lipid Regulating Agents/therapeutic use , Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease/drug therapy , Pyridones/therapeutic use , Tetrahydronaphthalenes/therapeutic use , Administration, Oral , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Double-Blind Method , Drug Administration Schedule , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease/metabolism , Pyridones/adverse effects , Tetrahydronaphthalenes/adverse effects , Treatment Outcome , Young Adult
8.
Front Immunol ; 12: 660179, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1264332

ABSTRACT

The complex interplay between the gut microbiota, the intestinal barrier, the immune system and the liver is strongly influenced by environmental and genetic factors that can disrupt the homeostasis leading to disease. Among the modulable factors, diet has been identified as a key regulator of microbiota composition in patients with metabolic syndrome and related diseases, including the metabolic dysfunction-associated fatty liver disease (MAFLD). The altered microbiota disrupts the intestinal barrier at different levels inducing functional and structural changes at the mucus lining, the intercellular junctions on the epithelial layer, or at the recently characterized vascular barrier. Barrier disruption leads to an increased gut permeability to bacteria and derived products which challenge the immune system and promote inflammation. All these alterations contribute to the pathogenesis of MAFLD, and thus, therapeutic approaches targeting the gut-liver-axis are increasingly being explored. In addition, the specific changes induced in the intestinal flora may allow to characterize distinctive microbial signatures for non-invasive diagnosis, severity stratification and disease monitoring.


Subject(s)
Gastrointestinal Microbiome/immunology , Intestinal Mucosa/immunology , Liver/immunology , Metabolic Syndrome/immunology , Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease/immunology , Animals , CCR5 Receptor Antagonists/therapeutic use , Dysbiosis/immunology , Dysbiosis/microbiology , Humans , Imidazoles/therapeutic use , Intestinal Mucosa/metabolism , Intestinal Mucosa/microbiology , Liver/metabolism , Liver/pathology , Metabolic Syndrome/drug therapy , Metabolic Syndrome/metabolism , Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease/drug therapy , Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease/metabolism , Sulfoxides/therapeutic use
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