Background: Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors (PPARs) play key roles in the pathogenesis of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD).Aim: to assess the effect of functional single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of PPARα and PPARγ2, previously associated with insulin resistance and dyslipidemia, on liver damage in NAFLD, whose progression is influenced by metabolic abnormalities and inherited factors.Methods: The Leu162Val PPARα and Pro12Ala PPARγ2 SNPs were evaluated by restriction analysis. We considered 202 Italian patients with biopsy-proven NAFLD.Results: The frequency of the evaluated SNPs did not differ between patients and 346 healthy controls. The presence of the PPARα 162Val allele (prevalence 57%), but not of the PPARγ2 12Ala allele (prevalence 18%), was associated with higher insulin resistance (HOMA-IR index 4.71 ± 3.8 vs. 3.58 ± 2.7, p = 0.026), but not with hyperglycemia. The PPARα 162Val and PPARγ2 12Ala alleles were not associated with the severity of steatosis, necroinflammation, or fibrosis.Conclusions: The presence of the PPARα 162Val allele was associated with insulin resistance, but not with liver damage in NAFLD. Because of the limited power of the present sample, larger studies are needed to exclude a minor effect of the PPARγ2 12Ala allele on necroinflammation/fibrosis in NAFLD.
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