Could Cysteamine help NAFLD?

Maybe (J Pediatr 2012; 161: 639-45, editorial p 579).

Cysteamine bitartrate has been used in cystinosis and reduces intralysosomal Cys accumulation.  It has potential antioxidant and antiapoptotic effects.  A pilot study has shown that cysteamine may improve NAFLD through unclear mechanisms and may reduce aminotransferase levels in the serum along with increasing adiponectin levels (reduced in NAFLD).

Adiponectin is produced by adipocytes and helps regulate glucose and lipid homeostasis.  It has insulin-sensitizing properties as well as anti-inflammatory effects. Adiponectin levels inversely correlate with degree of obesity and insulin resistance.

In this study of 10 children with biopsy-proven NAFLD, cysteamine therapy was administered for 24 weeks.

  • Following therapy, multimers of adiponectin were increased and total adiponectin level increased 49.3% (P = 0.05).
  • ALT dropped from a mean of 123 IU/L at baseline to 55 IU/L at 24 weeks.
  • AST dropped from a mean of 61 IU/L at baseline to 32 IU/L at 24 weeks.
  • Adiponectin values returned to baseline 16 weeks after completing treatment while aminotransferase values remained low.

The editorial notes that an NIH-funded NASH clinical research network study will investigate cysteamine in a much larger cohort.

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2 thoughts on “Could Cysteamine help NAFLD?

  1. Pingback: Breakthrough for Fatty Liver Disease? | gutsandgrowth

  2. Pingback: Rising Rates of Pediatric Fatty Liver | gutsandgrowth

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