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NAFLD and renal function in children: is there a genetic link?
Expert Review of Gastroenterology & Hepatology  (IF3.869),  Pub Date : 2021-04-14, DOI: 10.1080/17474124.2021.1906649
Anna Di Sessa, Stefano Guarino, Antonio Paride Passaro, Laura Liguori, Giuseppina Rosaria Umano, Grazia Cirillo, Emanuele Miraglia Del Giudice, Pierluigi Marzuillo


Introduction: Over the past decades, a large amount of both adult and pediatric data has shown relationship between Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD) and chronic kidney disease (CKD), resulting in an overall increased cardiometabolic burden. In view of the remarkable role of the genetic background in the NAFLD pathophysiology, a potential influence of the major NAFLD polymorphisms (e.g. the I148M variant of the Patatin-like phospholipase containing domain 3 (PNPLA3) gene, the E167K allele of the Transmembrane 6 superfamily member 2 (TM6SF2), the hydroxysteroid 17-beta dehydrogenase 13 (HSD17B13), and the Membrane bound O-acyltransferase domain containing 7-transmembrane channel-like 4 (MBOAT7-TMC4) genes) on renal function has been supposed. A shared metabolic and proinflammatory pathogenesis has been hypothesized, but the exact mechanism is still unknown.

Areas covered: We provide a comprehensive review of the potential genetic link between NAFLD and CKD in children. Convincing both adult and pediatric evidence supports this association, but there is some dispute especially in childhood.

Expert opinion: Evidence supporting a potential genetic link between NAFLD and CKD represents an intriguing aspect with a major clinical implication because of its putative role in improving strategy programs to counteract the higher cardiometabolic risk of these patients.