Serum milk fat globule-egf factor 8 protein as a potential biomarker for metabolic syndrome

Han Ah Lee, Jihwan Lim, Hyung Joon Joo, Young Sun Lee, Young Kul Jung, Ji Hoon Kim, Hyunggin An, Hyung Joon Yim, Yoon Tae Jeen, Jong Eun Yeon, Do Sun Lim, Kwan Soo Byun, Yeon Seok Seo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Background/Aims: Useful biomarkers for metabolic syndrome have been insufficient. We investigated the performance of serum milk fat globule-EGF factor-8 (MFG-E8), the key mediator of inflammatory pathway, in diagnosis of metabolic syndrome. Methods: Subjects aged between 30 and 64 years were prospectively enrolled in the Seoul Metabolic Syndrome cohort. Serum MFG-E8 levels were measured at baseline. Results: A total of 556 subjects were included, comprising 279 women (50.2%) and 277 men (49.8%). Metabolic syndrome was diagnosed in 236 subjects (42.4%), and the mean MFG-E8 level of subjects with metabolic syndrome was significantly higher than that of subjects without metabolic syndrome (P<0.001). MFG-E8 level was significantly correlated with all metabolic syndrome components and pulse wave velocity (all P<0.05). Subjects were categorized into two groups according to the best MFG-E8 cut-off value as follows: Group 1, MFG-E8 level <4,745.1 pg/mL (n=401, 72.1%); and group 2, MFG-E8 level ≥4,745.1 (n=155, 27.9%). At baseline, metabolic syndrome in group 2 was significantly more prevalent than in group 1 (63.9% vs. 34.2%, P<0.001). During median follow-up of 17 months, metabolic syndrome developed in 122 (38.1%) subjects among 320 subjects without it at baseline. The incidence of metabolic syndrome in group 2 was significantly higher than that in group 1 (55.4% vs. 34.5%, P=0.003). On multivariate analysis, MFG-E8 level ≥4,745.1 pg/mL was an independent predictor for diagnosis and development of metabolic syndrome after adjusting other factors (all P<0.05). Conclusions: Serum MFG-E8 level is a potent biomarker for the screening and prediction of metabolic syndrome.

Original languageEnglish
JournalClinical and Molecular Hepatology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Jul

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported by “The Research Supporting Program of The Korean Association for the Study of the Liver and The Korean Liver Foundation”, and “Grant from the Seoul Metropolitan Government”.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 by Korean Association for the Study of the Liver.


  • Biomarkers
  • Diagnosis
  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Milk fat globule-EGF factor-8

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hepatology
  • Molecular Biology


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