Wiener klinische Wochenschrift

, Volume 130, Issue 11–12, pp 390–397 | Cite as

Increased intermediate monocyte fraction in peripheral blood is associated with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease

  • Jianmei Zhang
  • Wenbin Chen
  • Li Fang
  • Qiu Li
  • Xu Zhang
  • Haiqing Zhang
  • Qingbo Guan
  • Rang Zhao
  • Chongbo Yang
  • Fei JingEmail author
original article


Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) currently represents the most common hepatic disease worldwide and is closely linked to cardiovascular disease, obesity and diabetes mellitus. This study aimed to investigate NAFLD and its influence on different monocyte subpopulations to determine the presence of significant associations. A total of 3 monocyte subpopulations were investigated, i.e. classical (CD14++CD16−), intermediate (CD14++CD16+) and non-classical (CD14+CD16++). Of the participants 261 were included in this study (n = 53 with NAFLD, n = 208 controls). Ultrasonography was used to diagnose NAFLD and exclude other morphologic causes of liver diseases and other tests (including medical history inquiries and detection of hepatitis virus) were performed to exclude other causes of parenchymal liver disease. Classical inflammatory and metabolic-related NAFLD biomarkers were also determined. In contrast to the healthy control group, the intermediate monocyte fraction was increased in NAFLD patients (p = 0.032), while the classical monocyte fraction was decreased (p = 0.025). Intermediate monocyte fraction, body mass index (BMI) and tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) were independent risk factors for NAFLD. Classical, non-classical and intermediate monocytes fraction were strongly associated with age, triglyceride, and waist circumference. This study suggests that the intermediate monocyte fraction in peripheral blood is likely related to the aggravation of NAFLD.


Monocytes Intermediate monocytes Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease 



Alanine transaminase


Aspartate transaminase


Body mass index


Classical monocyte




Fasting plasma glucose


Gamma-glutamyl transferase


High-density lipoprotein cholesterol


Homeostasis model assessment-estimated insulin resistance


Intermediate monocytes


Insulin resistance


Low-density lipoprotein cholesterol




Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease


Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis


Non-classical monocytes.


Natural killer cells


Peripheral blood monocytes


Total cholesterol




Tumor necrosis factor alpha



This work was supported by grants from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (grant no. 81400828) and the Natural Science Foundation of Shandong Province (grant no. ZR2014HQ057).

Conflict of interest

J. Zhang, W. Chen, L. Fang, Q. Li, X. Zhang, H. Zhang, Q. Guan, R. Zhao, C. Yang, and F. Jing declare that they have no competing interests.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Austria, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Endocrinology, Shandong Provincial HospitalShandong UniversityShandongChina
  2. 2.Shandong Provincial Key Laboratory of Endocrinology and Lipid MetabolismJinanChina
  3. 3.Department of GeriatricsWeihai Municipal HospitalWeihaiChina

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