Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12105/8896
The Myeloid-Epithelial-Reproductive Tyrosine Kinase (MERTK) rs4374383 Polymorphism Predicts Progression of Liver Fibrosis in Hepatitis C Virus-Infected Patients: A Longitudinal Study
J Clin Med. 2018 Nov 23;7(12). pii: E473.
BACKGROUND: The myeloid-epithelial-reproductive tyrosine kinase (MERTK) is involved in hepatic steatosis, inflammation, and liver fibrosis. Here we evaluated the association between the MERTK rs4374383 single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) and liver fibrosis progression in hepatitis C virus (HCV)-infected patients. METHODS: We performed a retrospective study (repeated measures design) in 208 patients who had liver stiffness measurement (LSM), which was assessed using transient elastography. No patient had cirrhosis at baseline (LSM ≥ 12.5 kPa). RESULTS: At baseline, 53.8% were male, the median age was 47.1 years, 13.5% reported a high intake of alcohol, 10.1% were prior injection drug users, 85.3% were infected with HCV genotype 1, and 22.6% had previously failed antiviral therapy (pegylated-interferon-alpha/ribavirin). During a median follow-up of 46.6 months, 26 patients developed cirrhosis. The rs4374383 G carriers had a higher risk of increasing LSM (adjusted arithmetic mean ratio (aAMR) = 1.14; p = 0.006) and a higher likelihood of having an increase in LSM greater than 5 kPa (ΔLSM ≥ 5 kPa) (adjusted odds ratio (aOR) = 2.37; p = 0.029), and greater than 7 kPa (ΔLSM ≥ 7 kPa) (aOR = 3.24; p = 0.032), after controlling for confounding. The SNP's association with cirrhosis progression was close to statistical significance (aOR = 2.18; p = 0.070). CONCLUSIONS: MERTK rs4374383 A carriers had a lower risk of liver fibrosis progression than G carriers, supporting the hypothesis that this SNP seems to have a critical role in the pathogenesis of liver disease in HCV-infected patients.
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