Autoimmune features in metabolic liver disease: A single-center experience and review of the literature

Koichi Tsuneyama, Hayato Baba, Kentaro Kikuchi, Takeshi Nishida, Kazuhiro Nomoto, Shinichi Hayashi, Shigeharu Miwa, Takahiko Nakajima, Yuko Nakanishi, Shinji Masuda, Mitsuhiro Terada, Johji Imura, Carlo Selmi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) is the progressive phenotype of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease associated with the metabolic syndrome. The existence of autoimmune features in NASH has been reported, but its significance remains unclear. We herein report the autoantibody profile of 54 patients with histologically proven NASH and further determined the development of autoimmunity in three different murine NASH models (monosodium glutamate, CDAA (choline-deficient l-amino acid-defined), and TSOD (Tsumura Suzuki, Obese Diabetes)) at 48 weeks of age. Forty-eight percent (26/54) of NASH cases were positive for antinuclear (ANA) or antimitochondrial antibody and manifested histological signs of overlap with autoimmune hepatitis and primary biliary cirrhosis, respectively. These patients were significantly older (60 ± 10 versus 50 ± 16 years), more frequently women (81 % versus 43 %), and with more severe portal inflammatory infiltrate compared with patients without autoimmunity. In one third of mice, regardless of the model, we observed a marked lymphoid infiltrate with non-suppurative cholangitis, and several cases were ANA-positive, but none AMA-positive. Our data suggest that autoimmunity may share some pathogenetic traits with the chronic inflammation of NASH, possibly related to advanced age.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)143-148
Number of pages6
JournalClinical Reviews in Allergy and Immunology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2013


  • Female sex
  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy


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