Objectives: To investigate whether the modulation of local cellular cross-talks and the modification of hepatic adipocytokine expression could mechanistically explain the improvement of liver histopathology after laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy (LSG) in adolescents with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). Study design: Twenty obese (body mass index of ≥35 kg/m2) adolescents who underwent LSG and with biopsy-proven NAFLD were included. At baseline (T0) and 1 year after treatment, patients underwent clinical evaluation, blood tests, and liver biopsy. Hepatic progenitor cells, hepatic stellate cells (HSCs), macrophages, and adipocytokines were evaluated by immunohistochemistry and immunofluorescence. Results: Liver biopsy samples after LSG demonstrated a significant improvement of NAFLD Activity Score and fibrosis. Immunohistochemistry indicated a significant reduction of hepatocyte cell cycle arrest, ductular reaction, activated HSC, and macrophage number after LSG compared with T0. The activation state of HSC was accompanied by modification in the expression of the autophagy marker LC3. Hepatocyte expression of adiponectin was significant higher after LSG than into T0. Moreover, LSG caused decreased resistin expression in Sox9+ hepatic progenitor cells compared with T0. The number of S100A9+ macrophages was also reduced by LSG correlating with resistin expression. Finally, serum levels of proinflammatory cytokines significantly correlated with macrophages and activated HSC numbers. Conclusions: The histologic improvement induced by LSG is associated with the reduced activation of local cellular compartments (hepatic progenitor cells, HSCs, and macrophages), thus, strengthening the role of cellular interactions and hepatic adipocytokine production in the pathogenesis of NAFLD.
- Bariatric surgery
- Ductular reaction
- Hepatic progenitor cells
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health