2017 Volume 29 Issue 170 Pages E85-E92
Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is a growing worldwide medical problem. NAFLD includes non-progressive nonalcoholic fatty liver (NAFL) and progressive nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). NASH can develop into liver cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma. Thus, distinguishing NASH from NAFL is very important. Currently, the diagnosis of NASH requires the histological assessment of liver fibrosis and ballooning hepatocytes from a liver biopsy. Before now, various laboratory tests have been reported to be available for NASH diagnosis, although their diagnostic abilities are poor. Development of a single biomarker that can accurately diagnose NASH is urgent. We found that Mac-2 binding protein (Mac-2bp) is a novel NASH biomarker suitable for the prediction of liver fibrosis severity in biopsy-proven NAFLD patients. Recently, Wisteria floribunda agglutinin (WFA)-positive Mac-2bp (WFA+-M2BP) was reported as a novel and useful liver fibrosis biomarker for chronic hepatitis type C. WFA+-M2BP represents Mac-2bp modified with the glycan structure recognized by WFA. In this minireview, we describe the use of Mac-2bp and WFA+-M2BP as NAFLD biomarkers based on our recent studies.