ANGPTL8 is a liver-derived protein related to insulin-sensitivity. Its relationship with obesity and liver function in Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS) is unknown. The present study investigated circulating ANGPTL8 in PWS and controls with common obesity, assessing its association to liver steatosis. For this purpose, 20 obese PWS and 20 controls matched for body mass index (BMI), sex and age underwent analysis of ANGPTL8 levels, glucose and lipid metabolism. Liver function tests and degree of liver steatosis by ultrasonography (US), fat-free mass (FFM) and fat mass (FM) by dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DEXA) were also assessed. In comparison to controls, obese PWS showed lower values of FFM (p < 0.0001) and higher FM (p = 0.01), while harbouring higher HDL cholesterol, lower triglycerides and OGTT-derived insulin levels, as well as a lower prevalence and severity of liver steatosis. With respect to obese controls, ANGPTL8 levels were significantly lower in PWS (p = 0.007) and overall correlated with transaminase levels and the severity of liver steatosis, as well as FFM (p < 0.05 for all). By a stepwise multivariable regression analysis, ANGPTL8 levels were independently predicted by PWS status (p = 0.01) and liver steatosis (p < 0.05). In conclusion, ANGPTL8 levels are lower in PWS than obese controls and are inversely associated with the severity of liver steatosis. Further studies should investigate the potential genetic basis for this observation.
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