Activation of the innate immune system plays a key role in the development of fatty liver disease (FLD). The complement system is a major humoral component of the innate immune response and complement C3 plays a central role, implying that C3 may be a powerful predictor or therapeutic target for FLD. However, few studies have assessed the association between C3 and FLD in a large population. Here we use a cross-sectional study to investigate the link between serum C3 levels and FLD. Participants were recruited from Tianjin Medical University's General Hospital-Health Management Centre. Serum C3 was measured using immunoturbidimetry method and FLD was diagnosed by liver ultrasonography. Multiple logistic regression analysis was used to examine the association between quartiles of C3 and FLD prevalence. The overall prevalence of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and alcoholic fatty liver disease (AFLD) were 37.3% and 10.1%, respectively. After adjusting for covariates, the odds ratio of having NAFLD or AFLD (only in males) in the fourth quartile of C3 compared with the first quartile was 4.13 times greater (95% confidence interval, 2.97-5.77) (trend P values < 0.0001) and 2.09 times greater (95% confidence interval, 1.08-4.18) (trend P values = 0.02). This is the first study to demonstrate that serum C3 levels are independently associated with a higher prevalence of NAFLD and AFLD (only in males) in an adult population. Further studies are needed to establish a causal link and determine the precise role of C3 in FLD.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)