Parenteral Nutrition (PN) Associated Liver Disease (PNALD) affects up to 60% of neonates; however, techniques for diagnosing and monitoring disease progression remain limited. The neonatal baboon model may provide a unique opportunity to identify serologic markers associated with this disease. The purpose of this study was to investigate if Hyaluronic Acid (HA), TIMP metallopeptidase inhibitor 1 (TIMP1), Amino-terminal Propeptide of Type-III Collagen (PIIINP) and Enhanced Liver Fibrosis (ELF) score associate with histological liver disease in neonatal baboons exposed to PN. Preterm baboons delivered via c-section at 67% gestation received PN for 14 days with or without Intralipid (PRT+IL, PRT-IL, respectively) or were sacrificed after birth (PRTCTR). Term baboons were sacrificed after birth (TERMCTR) or survived 14 days (TERM+14d). Serum HA, TIMP1, and PIIINP concentrations were measured by ELISA. A blinded pathologist assigned liver histological scores following necropsy. HA increased 9.1-fold, TIMP1 increased 2.2-fold, and ELF score increased 1.4-fold in PRT-IL compared to PRTCTR. ALT, AST, and GGT were within normal limits and did not vary between groups. A trend towards increased fibrosis was found in PRT-IL baboons. Microvesicular hepatocyte steatosis and Kupffer cell hypertrophy were elevated in PRT-IL vs PRTCTR. HA and TIMP1 were significantly elevated in preterm baboons with early histological findings of liver disease evidenced by hepatic steatosis, Kupffer cell hypertrophy and a trend towards fibrosis whereas traditional markers of liver disease remained normal. These novel markers could potentially be utilized for monitoring early hepatic injury in neonates.
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