Zinc Administration and Improved Serum Markers of Hepatic Fibrosis in Patients with Autoimmune Hepatitis.
J Clin Med. 2021 Jun 2 ;10(11). Epub 2021 Jun 2. PMID: 34199421
AIM: The aim of the present study is to investigate the effect of long-term zinc supplementation, which is important for the activation of various enzymes that contribute to antioxidant and antifibrotic activities, on the improvement of serum fibrotic markers in patients with autoimmune hepatitis (AIH).
METHODS: A total of 38 patients with AIH under regular treatment at our hospital who provided their consent for being treated with polaprezinc (75 mg twice daily) were included and classified into 2 groups: the patients with zinc elevation (= 27) and the patients without zinc elevation (= 11). Serum biomarker of fibrosis, protein expression levels of matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs), and their inhibitors (TIMPs) were evaluated.
RESULTS: A significant difference was found between the variability of serum procollagen typeⅢ and collagen type Ⅳ-7S between the 2 groups before and after zinc administration for more than 24 months (= 0.043 and= 0.049). In the patients with zinc elevation, no significant changes were found in collagenase (MMP-1 and MMP-13) before and after zinc administration, whereas a significant increase in the expression of gelatinase (MMP-2 and MMP-9) was found after administration (= 0.021 and= 0.005). As for the relative ratio of MMPs to TIMPs, only MMP-9 to TIMP-1 showed a significant increase (= 0.004).
CONCLUSIONS: Long-term treatment with polaprezinc has been demonstrated to safely improve serum fibrosis indices through increases in MMP-2/-9 and MMP-9/TIMP-1 and is expected to be well combined with direct antifibrotic therapies such as molecularly targeted agents.