Aim: We aimed to evaluate the circulating thrombospondin-1 (TSP-1) and nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κB) in nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) in order to integrate these signaling pathways in the inflammatory and fibrogenic processes of this liver disorder.

Methods: Ninety-five NAFLD patients were recruited in the study. The study also included 83 age-sex matched healthy controls.

Results: The number of patients with metabolic syndrome (MetS) criteria was 57 (60%). TSP-1 level was found to be statistically significantly lower in the NAFLD group compared to the control group (p=0.037). However, NF-κB level was found to be significantly higher in the NAFLD group compared to the control group (p=0.004). There was a significant negative correlation between plasma TSP-1 levels with glucose (r=-0.235, p=0.022), alanine aminotransferase (r=-0.261, p=0.011) and aspartate transaminase (r=-0.328, p=0.001) levels. In addition, a significant negative correlation was found between plasma TSP-1 and NF-κB levels (r=-0.729, p<0.001).

Conclusions: Our results suggest a close relationship between increased NF-κB and reduced TSP-1 in NAFLD. TSP-1 and NF-κB signaling pathways might have a role in the inflammatory and fibrogenic processes. Furthermore, they may be used as a noninvasive marker and could assist as a therapeutic target for NAFLD.


Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, thrombospondin-1, nuclear factor kappa B, inflammation, fibrogenesis