ANGPTL8 (betatrophin) is expressed in visceral adipose tissue and relates to human hepatic steatosis in two independent clinical collectives


  • C. von Loeffelholz
  • A.F.H. Pfeiffer
  • J.F. Lock
  • S. Lieske
  • S. Döcke
  • V. Murahovschi
  • J. Kriebel
  • T. de Las Heras Gala
  • H. Grallert
  • N. Rudovich
  • M. Stockmann
  • J. Spranger
  • G. Jahreis
  • S.R. Bornstein
  • G. Lau
  • A. Xu
  • J. Schulz-Menger
  • L. Exner
  • S. Haufe
  • J. Jordan
  • S. Engeli
  • A.L. Birkenfeld


  • Hormone and Metabolic Research


  • Horm Metab Res 49 (5): 343-349


  • Angiopoietin-like protein 8 (ANGPTL8)/betatrophin expression in visceral adipose tissue and associations with circulating fatty acid profile have not yet been investigated.Forty subjects were included in a cross-sectional study, 57 in a dietary weight reduction intervention. Circulating Angiopoietin-like protein 8/betatrophin was measured in all subjects. Liver and adipose tissue were sampled and plasma fatty acids and tissue Angiopoietin-like protein 8/betatrophin expression were evaluated in the cross-sectional study. In the intervention study oral glucose testing and liver magnetic resonance scanning at baseline and after 6 months were performed. Angiopoietin-like protein 8/betatrophin mRNA was increased in visceral compared to subcutaneous adipose tissue (p<0.001). Circulating ANGPTL8/betatrophin correlated with liver steatosis (r=0.42, p=0.047), triacylglycerols (r=0.34, p=0.046), saturated (r=0.43, p=0.022), monounsaturated (r=0.51, p=0.007), and polyunsaturated fatty acids (r=-0.53, p=0.004). In the intervention study, baseline Angiopoietin-like protein 8/betatrophin correlated with age (r=0.32, p=0.010) and triacylglycerols (r=0.30, p=0.02) and was increased with hepatic steatosis (p=0.033). Weight loss reduced liver fat by 45% and circulating Angiopoietin-like protein 8/betatrophin by 11% (288±17 vs. 258±17 pg/ml; p=0.015). Angiopoietin-like protein 8/betatrophin is related to liver steatosis, while visceral adipose tissue represents an additional site of expression in humans.