- 1Department of In Vitro Toxicology and Dermato-Cosmetology, Faculty of Medicine and Pharmacy, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Brussels, Belgium.
- 2Metabolic Liver Research Center, Department of Medicine, University Medical Center Mainz, Mainz, Germany.
- 3Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Department of Internal Medicine, Maastricht University Medical Centre+, Maastricht, The Netherlands.
- 4School of Nutrition and Translational Research in Metabolism, Maastricht University, Maastricht, The Netherlands.
Background: It is unclear whether the patatin-like phospholipase domain-containing protein 3 (PNPLA3) rs738409 C-to-G single nucleotide polymorphism, resulting in the substitution of isoleucine to methionine at position 148 (I148M), impedes regression of hepatic steatosis when treating non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD).
Objectives: Investigate if carriage of the PNPLA3 148M allele affects the anti-steatotic efficacy of all possible anti-NAFLD interventions, identify gaps in current knowledge and provide guidance for individual treatment.
Methods: Research available in public databases was searched up to 13 November 2022. Studies were included if a treatment in NAFLD patients decreased hepatic steatosis in the pooled patient group or a PNPLA3 I148M polymorphism subgroup (II/IM/MM). The risk of bias was assessed using the Cochrane Risk-Of-Bias 2 Tool and the Newcastle-Ottawa Scale.
Results: Moderate evidence indicates that NAFLD patients homozygous for the PNPLA3 148M allele benefit less or not at all from omega-3 carboxylic acids to decrease liver fat, while the PNPLA3 148I allele shows moderate benefit. Low evidence suggests that interventions employing lifestyle changes are more effective to reduce liver fat in NAFLD patients homozygous for the PNPLA3 148M allele compared to patients with wild-type PNPLA3.
Conclusions: NAFLD patients homozygous for the PNPLA3 148M allele might not benefit from omega-3 carboxylic acids to reduce hepatic steatosis in contrast to patients with wild-type PNPLA3. Instead, patients with two PNPLA3 148M alleles should be especially advised to adopt lifestyle changes. Genotyping for PNPLA3 I148M should be encouraged in therapeutic studies for NAFLD.
Registration number (prospero): CRD42022375028.