New biomarkers for NAFLD: PR3, NE and AAT

Summary of Mirea, A et al; Increased proteinase 3 and neutrophil elastase plasma concentrations are associated with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and type 2 diabetes. Mol Med 2019.


Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is becoming a major health problem worldwide with a prevalence of approximately 25% among the global population. NAFLD is increasing rapidly in parallel with obesity. Although the pathogenesis of NAFLD is not completely understood, it is known that inflammation plays an important role in disease development and progression.

The neutrophil serine proteases (NSPs) proteinase-3 (PR3) and neutrophil elastase
(NE) are able to process IL-1 β (one of the key cytokines responsible for induction and perpetuation of inflammation in the liver)  to its bioactive form independently of caspase-1-NLRP3 inflammasome complex. Imbalance between the concentrations of NE, PR3 and their inhibitor alpha-1-antitrypsin (AAT) may contribute to metabolic disturbances like type-2 diabetes and NAFLD. Most of these studies have been performed on mouse models and little is known of the relation in human.

Data in this research shows an increase in PR3 and NE concentrations and a decrease in AAT concentrations in obese patients when compared to controls. PR3 plasma concentrations are increased in patients with liver steatosis. Furthermore, PR3 and NE concentrations in the liver are associated with the advanced stages of NAFLD characterized by NASH and/ or liver fibrosis. Additionally, PR3 and NE concentrations were up-regulated in patients with type 2 diabetes when compared to lean and obese controls.

More information about the mentioned ELISA kits can be found here:

  • Human Proteinase 3 ELISA, cat # HK384
  • Human Alpha-1-antitrypsin ELISA, cat # HK387

Human Elastase ELISA, cat # HK319

Related Products