Association between Melatonin Value and Interleukins-1B, -18, and -33 Levels in Patients with Different Stages of Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease

Masoudreza Sohrabi, Hossein Ajdarkosh, Ali Gholami, Bahreh Amirkalali, Mohsen Reza Mansorian, Sima Aten, Melika Sohrabi, Mohsen Nasiri Toosi, Farhad Zamani, Hossein Keyvani



Interaction between immune modulators and inflammatory factors is considered as one of the main underlying pathologies of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD).  Hence we aimed to assess the association between these cytokines and melatonin.


We enrolled adult patients diagnosed with fatty liver by ultrasonography in a cross-sectional study. All of them underwent Fibroscan evaluation. The subjects who met the inclusion and exclusion criteria for NAFLD were involved. A normal group who did not have NAFLD, viral or non-viral hepatitis, and without a history of pancreatobiliary surgery, bariatric surgery, and intake of any medication that influence the liver was also selected. The participants were categorized into the three following groups: 1) fibrosis> 9.1 kPa and steatosis>290 dbm, 2) fibrosis: 6-9.0 kPa and steatosis 240-290 dbm, and 3) normal group with fibrosis< 6.0 kPa and steatosis< 240 dbm. Laboratory assessment and a questionnaire including demographic, anthropometric, laboratories, and clinical data were completed for each of them.


Totally 97 subjects were enrolled in the present study. The mean age of the subjects was 42.2 ±11.3 years. 60% of them (59 patients) were female. Serum levels of melatonin, interleukin (IL)-1B, IL-18, and IL-33 increased according to the advancing of NAFLD state. Based on multiple linear regression model, melatonin was significantly associated with IL-1B (β=2.8, p<0.001,95% CI=1.41-4.19), IL-18 (β=0.018, p =0.0005, 95% CI=0.006-0.03), and IL-33 (β=0.31, p =0.045, 95% CI=0.008-0.62) after adjustment for other variables.


Melatonin level has a strong association with these cytokines. This linkage probably influences on the development and progression of NAFLD. Therefore it can be hypothesized that the therapeutic approach that affects this process may have a significant impact.


Melatonin; Cytokines; Interleukin; Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease; Liver fibrosis

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