Publications by authors named "Kensuke Munekage"

12 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Serum Mac-2 binding protein level predicts the development of liver-related events and colorectal cancer in patients with NAFLD.

Hepatol Commun 2022 Apr 27. Epub 2022 Apr 27.

Department of Molecular Biochemistry & Clinical Investigation, Osaka University Graduate School of Medicine, Suita, Osaka, Japan.

We previously demonstrated that Mac-2 binding protein (M2BP) is a useful biomarker for nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), particularly NAFLD fibrosis prediction. In the present study, we investigated the prognostic value of M2BP in patients with NAFLD. A total of 506 patients with biopsy-confirmed NAFLD from 2002 to 2013 were enrolled in this study in Japan. Three hundred fifty-three of these patients with NAFLD were available for follow-up for more than 100 days and showed no liver-related events at the time of entry. Liver-related events were defined as hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), decompensation, and gastroesophageal varices with variceal treatment. The mean follow-up duration of all the subjects was 2716 ± 1621 days (102-7483 days). Eighteen patients developed new liver-related events (HCC, 8; decompensation, 11; varices, 8). Nine patients developed cardiovascular disease (CVD), and 24 patients developed new cancers in other organs. The median serum M2BP level was 1.603 μg/mL, and we divided our cohort into two groups according to the serum M2BP level: M2BP low group (M2BP Low) and M2BP high group (M2BP Hi). The incidence of HCC was significantly higher in M2BP Hi (n = 8) than in M2BP Low (n = 0). The incidence of liver-related events was significantly higher in M2BP Hi (n = 16) than in M2BP Low (n = 2). The incidences of death, CVD events, and cancer in other organs were not different between the groups. Interestingly, the incidence of colorectal cancer was significantly higher in M2BP Hi (n = 5) than in M2BP Low (n = 0). Conclusion: M2BP is a useful biomarker to predict liver-related events, particularly HCC. Additionally, M2BP is a potential predictive biomarker of colorectal cancer development.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/hep4.1934DOI Listing
April 2022

Clinical Outcomes in Biopsy-Proven Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease Patients: A Multicenter Registry-based Cohort Study.

Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol 2022 Jan 17. Epub 2022 Jan 17.

Department of Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics, Graduate School of Medicine, University of the Ryukyus, Okinawa, Japan.

Background & Aims: There are no detailed reports of clinical outcomes in Asian patients with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) who undergo liver biopsy. We aimed to investigate the clinical outcomes of a large cohort of Asian patients with biopsy-proven NAFLD and evaluate the specific effects of nonalcoholic steatohepatitis and fibrosis stage.

Methods: This multicenter registry-based retrospective cohort study, called the CLIONE (Clinical Outcome Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease) in Asia, included 1398 patients.

Results: The median follow-up period was 4.6 years (range, 0.3-21.6 years), representing a total of 8874 person-years of follow-up. During that time, 47 patients died, and 1 patient underwent orthotopic liver transplantation. The leading cause of death was nonhepatic cancer (n = 10). The leading causes of liver-related death were liver failure (n = 9), hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) (n = 8), and cholangiocellular carcinoma (n = 4). During follow-up, 37 patients developed HCC, 31 developed cardiovascular disease, and 68 developed nonhepatic cancer (mainly breast, stomach, and colon/rectum). Among our cohort of patients with NAFLD, liver-specific mortality was 2.34/1000 person-years (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.52-3.58), overall mortality was 5.34/1000 person-years (95% CI, 4.02-7.08), and HCC incidence was 4.17/1000 person-years (95% CI, 3.02-5.75). Liver fibrosis was independently associated with liver-related events but not overall mortality.

Conclusions: Liver-related mortality was the leading cause of mortality in Asian patients with biopsy-confirmed NAFLD. Although fibrosis stage was independently associated with liver-related events, it was not associated with overall mortality after adjusting for confounders, such as histologic features of steatohepatitis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cgh.2022.01.002DOI Listing
January 2022

Underestimation of impaired glucose tolerance and usefulness of a continuous glucose monitoring system in chronic liver disease.

J Gastroenterol Hepatol 2022 Mar 5;37(3):592-599. Epub 2022 Jan 5.

Research Center for Hepatology and Gastroenterology, Hiroshima University, Hiroshima, Japan.

Background And Aim: The prevalence of glucose intolerance in chronic liver disease patients is high, but glucose intolerance may be overlooked in a single blood test. The purpose of this study is to evaluate blood glucose variability in patients with chronic liver disease by a continuous glucose monitoring system (CGMS) and to examine the discrepancy between hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) levels estimated from average blood glucose levels and HbA1c.

Methods: This study included 335 patients with chronic liver disease associated with glucose intolerance. A fasting blood test and 72-h CGMS were performed. The estimated HbA1c was calculated from the average blood glucose level, and the correlation between hepatic functional reserve and blood glucose-related parameters was analyzed. From the obtained data, we created a new formula to calculate HbA1c without using CGMS.

Results: As hepatic functional reserve decreased, average blood glucose and insulin resistance increased while HbA1c decreased (P < 0.0001). The discrepancy between the estimated HbA1c calculated from the mean blood glucose level and the serum HbA1c (ΔHbA1c) increased as the liver reserve decreased. Using multiple regression analysis, a formula based on fasting blood glucose, HbA1c, body mass index, albumin, and liver function was constructed, and its validity was demonstrated in a study using a different control group.

Conclusions: Hemoglobin A1c may be underestimated because of decreased hepatic functional reserve. CGMS was useful in assessing accurate glycemic control of blood glucose and in detecting postprandial hyperglycemia and nocturnal hypoglycemia. Patients with chronic hepatic impairment should be corrected for hepatic functional reserve before glycemic control.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jgh.15766DOI Listing
March 2022

Common Drug Pipelines for the Treatment of Diabetic Nephropathy and Hepatopathy: Can We Kill Two Birds with One Stone?

Int J Mol Sci 2020 Jul 13;21(14). Epub 2020 Jul 13.

Hepatology Division, Department of Internal Medicine II, Hamamatsu University School of Medicine, Hamamatsu, Shizuoka 431-3192, Japan.

Type 2 diabetes (T2D) is associated with diabetic nephropathy as well as nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), which can be called "diabetic hepatopathy or diabetic liver disease". NASH, a severe form of nonalcoholic fatty disease (NAFLD), can sometimes progress to cirrhosis, hepatocellular carcinoma and hepatic failure. T2D patients are at higher risk for liver-related mortality compared with the nondiabetic population. NAFLD is closely associated with chronic kidney disease (CKD) or diabetic nephropathy according to cross-sectional and longitudinal studies. Simultaneous kidney liver transplantation (SKLT) is dramatically increasing in the United States, because NASH-related cirrhosis often complicates end-stage renal disease. Growing evidence suggests that NAFLD and CKD share common pathogenetic mechanisms and potential therapeutic targets. Glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1) receptor agonists and sodium-glucose cotransporter 2 (SGLT2) inhibitors are expected to ameliorate NASH and diabetic nephropathy/CKD. There are no approved therapies for NASH, but a variety of drug pipelines are now under development. Several agents of them can also ameliorate diabetic nephropathy/CKD, including peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors agonists, apoptosis signaling kinase 1 inhibitor, nuclear factor-erythroid-2-related factor 2 activator, C-C chemokine receptor types 2/5 antagonist and nonsteroidal mineral corticoid receptor antagonist. This review focuses on common drug pipelines in the treatment of diabetic nephropathy and hepatopathy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijms21144939DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7404115PMC
July 2020

Evaluation of postprandial hypoglycemia in patients with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease by oral glucose tolerance testing and continuous glucose monitoring.

Eur J Gastroenterol Hepatol 2018 07;30(7):797-805

Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Kochi Medical School, Kochi.

Objective: Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is often associated with insulin resistance and glucose intolerance. Postprandial hypoglycemia frequently occurs in NAFLD patients; however, the details remain unclear.

Patients And Methods: The 75-g oral glucose tolerance test (75gOGTT) in 502 patients with biopsy-proven NAFLD and continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) in 20 patients were performed, and the characteristics and causes of postprandial hypoglycemia were investigated.

Results: The proportion of patients in the Hypo subgroup [plasma glucose (PG) at 180 min
Conclusion: Postprandial hypoglycemia was identified in many NAFLD patients detected by 75gOGTT and CGM. It was clarified that important causes of postprandial hypoglycemia were related to low HbA1c, an early elevation of PG, low fasting and relatively low early insulin secretion, and delayed hyperinsulinemia.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/MEG.0000000000001118DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5999378PMC
July 2018

Differences in characteristics of glucose intolerance between patients with NAFLD and chronic hepatitis C as determined by CGMS.

Sci Rep 2017 08 31;7(1):10146. Epub 2017 Aug 31.

Departments of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Kochi Medical School, Kochi, Japan.

Glucose intolerance frequently develops in accordance with the progression of chronic liver disease. However, differences in the characteristics of glucose intolerance between patients with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and those with chronic hepatitis C (C-CH) remain incompletely understood. To clarify these differences, patients with NAFLD (n = 37) and C-CH (n = 40) were evaluated with a continuous glucose monitoring system (CGMS). In the patients with NAFLD, Maximum blood glucose concentration and blood glucose swings were significantly correlated with hepatic fibrosis markers. In the patients with C-CH, however, those two CGMS parameters were negatively correlated with the serum albumin (ALB) concentration. Furthermore, in the patients with C-CH with an ALB concentration of ≤4.0 g/dl, those two CGMS parameters were negatively correlated with the ALB concentration with greater statistical significance. In conclusion, obvious differences in the characteristics of glucose intolerance between patients with NAFLD and those with C-CH were clarified. In patients with NAFLD, glucose intolerance gradually progressed in accordance with the progression of hepatic fibrosis. In those with C-CH, glucose intolerance suddenly developed upon the appearance of hypoalbuminaemia.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-017-09256-4DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5579047PMC
August 2017

High fasting insulin concentrations may be a pivotal predictor for the severity of hepatic fibrosis beyond the glycemic status in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease patients before development of diabetes mellitus.

Hepatol Res 2017 Sep 5;47(10):983-990. Epub 2016 Dec 5.

Departments of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Kochi Medical School, Kochi, Japan.

Background: Insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) contribute to the progression of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). However, the relationship between glucose metabolic factors and the histological severity in NAFLD patients before development of T2DM is not well known.

Methods: In 103 biopsy-proven NAFLD patients (68 men and 35 women) with hemoglobin A1c of <6.5% and fasting blood glucose of <126 mg/dL, we investigated whether glucose metabolic factors influenced the severity of hepatic fibrosis without prior known T2DM.

Results: Female gender, age, serum aspartate aminotransferase, the aspartate aminotransferase/alanine aminotransferase ratio, fasting immunoreactive insulin (f-IRI), homeostasis model assessment - insulin resistance, hemoglobin A1c, hyaluronic acid, and type IV collagen 7 s were significantly higher, and 1,5-anhydroglucitol was significantly lower, in the fibrosis stage F3 group than in the F0-2 group. Multiple logistic regression analysis showed that only f-IRI (P = 0.006; odds ratio, 1.15151; 95% confidence interval, 1.04198-1.27254) was significantly indicated as a predictive factor for F3. As determined by both forward and backward stepwise selection analyses to optimize the model, f-IRI (P = 0001; odds ratio, 1.16788) remained an independent predictive factor for F3. To discriminate the F3 group from the F0-2 group, the area under the receiver operating characteristic curves showed that fasting insulin was 0.7219, and the best cut-off value of f-IRI was 13.2 μU/mL in the receiver operating characteristic curve analysis.

Conclusions: High fasting insulin concentrations may be a pivotal glucose metabolic predictor for the severity of hepatic fibrosis beyond the glycemic status in NAFLD patients before development of T2DM.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/hepr.12832DOI Listing
September 2017

Hepatocellular carcinoma in Japanese patients with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease and alcoholic liver disease: multicenter survey.

J Gastroenterol 2016 Jun 11;51(6):586-96. Epub 2015 Oct 11.

Department of Gastroenterology, National Center for Global Health and Medicine, Tokyo, Japan.

Background: In Japan, the prevalence of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) associated with nonviral liver disease, especially with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD-HCC) and alcoholic liver disease (ALD-HCC), has been increasing. Clarification of the clinical features of NAFLD-HCC and ALD-HCC is needed. We performed a large retrospective multicenter survey to clarify the clinical course of these two types of HCC.

Methods: Clinical characteristics, survival, and recurrence were examined in 532 patients with ALD-HCC and 209 patients with NAFLD-HCC who were diagnosed between January 2000 and December 2013.

Results: The ALD-HCC patients were predominantly male and were younger than the patients with NAFLD-HCC. Lifestyle-related diseases were significantly more common in the NAFLD-HCC group, but the prevalence of cirrhosis was significantly higher in the ALD-HCC group. The histological diagnosis of NAFLD-HCC showed a gender difference (F4; 72.7 % in the females vs. 37.6 % in the males). The characteristic features of HCC including histology, survival rate, and recurrence rate were quite similar in the NAFLD-HCC and ALD-HCC groups: 5-year survival rates 49.1 vs. 43.7 %; 5-year recurrence rates 69.6 vs. 65.4 %, respectively. However, the risk factors for recurrence differed between the two groups: des-gamma-carboxy prothrombin was a risk factor in NAFLD-HCC and α-fetoprotein was a risk factor in ALD-HCC.

Conclusions: Although the characteristic features underlying these two diseases are different, the two HCC groups showed a similar clinical course. The recurrence rates of the two HCC groups were relatively high. We found that critical tumor markers for recurrence differed between the two diseases.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00535-015-1129-1DOI Listing
June 2016

Patatin-like phospholipase domain-containing protein 3 is involved in hepatic fatty acid and triglyceride metabolism through X-box binding protein 1 and modulation of endoplasmic reticulum stress in mice.

Hepatol Res 2016 May 2;46(6):584-92. Epub 2016 Feb 2.

Departments of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Kochi Medical School, Kochi, Japan.

Aim: Non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) is the major cause of chronic liver disease worldwide. Endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress is considered to be an important pathological characteristic in NASH. A sequence variation (I148M) in the patatin-like phospholipase domain-containing protein 3/adiponutrin (PNPLA3) gene is known to be associated with the development of NASH. However, PNPLA3 deficiency has been considered to not be associated with fatty liver disease. To clarify, therefore, the role of PNPLA3 in liver, we established PNPLA3 knockout (KO) mice and investigated the phenotypes and involved factors under ER stress.

Methods: ER stress was induced by i.p. injection with tunicamycin or with saline at 0 and 24 h in KO and C57BL/6 (wild-type [WT]) mice. At 48 h after the starting of treatment, blood and liver samples were studied.

Results: Hepatic steatosis and triglyceride content were remarkably increased in WT mice than in KO mice under ER stress. The hepatic palmitate/oleate ratio was significantly higher originally in KO mice than in WT mice. Moreover, the expression of stearoyl-coenzyme A desaturase-1 (SCD1) in KO mice under ER stress was decreased further than that in WT mice. Expression of ER stress markers X-box binding protein 1 (XBP1) and ERdj4 was increased in WT mice but not in KO mice under ER stress.

Conclusion: We first demonstrated the hepatic phenotype of PNPLA3 deficiency under ER stress. Our observations would indicate that PNPLA3 has an important role in hepatic fatty acid metabolism and triglyceride accumulation through XBP1 under ER stress.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/hepr.12587DOI Listing
May 2016

Glycemic variability is an independent predictive factor for development of hepatic fibrosis in nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.

PLoS One 2013 6;8(11):e76161. Epub 2013 Nov 6.

Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Kochi Medical School, Kochi, Japan.

Unlabelled: Patients with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) often have metabolic disorders including insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). We clarified the predictive factors in glucose metabolism for progression of hepatic fibrosis in patients with NAFLD by the 75-g oral glucose tolerance test (75gOGTT) and a continuous glucose monitoring system (CGMS). One hundred sixty-nine patients (68 female and 101 male patients) with biopsy-proven NAFLD with performance with 75gOGTT were enrolled and divided into four groups according to the stage of hepatic fibrosis (F0-3). The proportion of patients with T2DM significantly gradually increased, HbA1c and the homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance were significantly elevated, and 1,5-anhydroglucitol (1,5-AG) was remarkably decreased with the progression of fibrosis. In the 75gOGTT, both plasma glucose and insulin secretion were remarkably increased with the progression of fibrosis. The only factor significantly associated with advanced fibrosis was 1,5-AG (P = 0.008) as determined by multivariate logistic regression analysis. We next evaluated the changes in blood glucose during 24 hours by monitoring with the CGMS to confirm the relationship between glycemic variability and progression of fibrosis. Variability of median glucose, standard deviation of median glucose (P = 0.0022), maximum blood glucose (P = 0.0019), and ΔMin-max blood glucose (P = 0.0029) were remarkably higher in severe fibrosis than in mild fibrosis.

Conclusion: Hyperinsulinemia and hyperglycemia, especially glycemic variability, are important predictive factors in glucose impairment for the progression of hepatic fibrosis in NAFLD.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0076161PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3819352PMC
August 2014

Usefulness of Technetium-99 m-2-methoxy-isobutyl-isonitrile liver scintigraphy for evaluating disease activity of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.

Hepatol Res 2012 Mar 18;42(3):273-9. Epub 2012 Jan 18.

Departments of Gastroenterology and Hepatology Radiology, Kochi Medical School, Nankoku, Kochi, Japan.

Aim:   Non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) is a progressive form of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). Therefore, it is important to evaluate disease activity and distinguish NASH from simple steatosis in NAFLD. Technetium-99 m-2-methoxy-isobutyl-isonitrile ((99m) Tc-MIBI) is a lipophilic cation designed for myocardial perfusion scintigraphy in the diagnosis of ischemic heart diseases, and its retention reflects mitochondrial function. It was reported that hepatic mitochondrial abnormalities would be an important predictive factor for NASH disease progression. The aim of this study was to examine the clinical usefulness of (99m) Tc-MIBI liver scintigraphy for evaluating disease activity of NAFLD and distinguishing NASH from simple steatosis in patients with NAFLD.

Methods:   Twenty-six patients with biopsy-proven NAFLD were enrolled. Clinicolaboratory tests and (99m) Tc-MIBI liver scintigraphy were performed. To evaluate hepatic uptake, regions of interest were set at the liver and heart, and the uptake ratio of the liver to heart (liver/heart ratio) was calculated.

Results:   All patients with NAFLD were classified into three groups according to the NAFLD activity score: non-NASH (simple steatosis) (n = 4), borderline NASH (n = 11), and NASH (n = 11). Liver/heart ratios were significantly lower in NASH than in simple steatosis (P < 0.05). Moreover, liver/heart ratios were significantly correlated with NAFLD activity scores among the patients (r = -0.413, P < 0.05).

Conclusions:   The present study indicates that (99m) Tc-MIBI liver scintigraphy would be a useful non-invasive functional imaging method with which to evaluate disease activity of NAFLD and distinguish NASH from simple steatosis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1872-034X.2011.00923.xDOI Listing
March 2012

Angiotensinogen gene haplotype is associated with the prevalence of Japanese non-alcoholic steatohepatitis.

Hepatol Res 2011 Dec 11;41(12):1223-9. Epub 2011 Oct 11.

Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Kochi Medical School, Kochi, Japan.

Aim:   Non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) patients frequently have hypertension, which is considered to be an important predictive factor for the subsequent development of hepatic fibrosis. The renin-angiotensin system is also known to contribute to the progression of NASH. Various types of functional single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) involved in the development of NASH have been proposed. Angiotensinogen (AGT) gene SNPs related to cardiovascular diseases have been reported. We aimed to evaluate the involvement of the AGT gene haplotype in Japanese NASH patients.

Methods:   Previously described genotypes of SNPs of the AGT gene, rs4762 C/T polymorphism (T207M), rs699 C/T polymorphism (T268M), and rs7079 C/A polymorphism (C11537A), were determined in 124 Japanese biopsy-proven NASH patients and 150 healthy volunteers (controls).

Results:   The allele and genotype frequencies in rs4762 and rs699 SNPs in NASH patients were similar to those in controls, while the frequency of the A allele and A/- genotype in rs7079 SNPs were much higher in NASH patients than in controls. In addition, the 3-SNP haplotype CTA was significantly over-represented in NASH patients compared with controls. Regarding clinical features of NASH patients, diastolic blood pressures in patients with the CTA/- genotype were much higher than in patients with other genotypes.

Conclusions:   We found a 3-SNP haplotype of the AGT gene that is involved in the development of NASH and influences hypertension in NASH patients. These results provide new insight into the therapy of NASH patients with the CTA haplotype using ACE inhibitors or angiotensin II type 1 receptor blockers.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1872-034X.2011.00883.xDOI Listing
December 2011
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