Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and obstructive sleep apnoea syndrome (OSAS) are common conditions, frequently encountered in patients with obesity and/or metabolic syndrome. NAFLD and OSAS are complex diseases that involve an interaction of several intertwined factors. Several lines of evidence lend credence to an immune system derangement in these patients, i.e. the low grade chronic inflammation status, reckoned to be the most important factor in causing and maintaining these two illnesses. Furthermore, it is emphasized the main role of spleen involvement, as a novel mechanism. In this review the contribution of the visceral adiposity in both NAFLD and OSAS is stressed as well as the role of intermittent hypoxia. Finally, a post on the prevention of systemic inflammation is made.

Abbreviations: ALT: alanine aminotransferase; BMI: body mass index; CCR2: chemokine (C-C motif) receptor 2; CRP: C-reactive protein; CPAP: continuous positive airway pressure; FFA: free fatty acid; IGF-I: insulin-like growth factor; IR: insulin resistance; IL-6: interleukin-6; IH: intermittent hypoxia; IKK-β: IκB kinase β; LPS: lipopolysaccharide; MCP-1: monocyte chemoattractant protein-1; NAFLD: non-alcoholic fatty liver disease; NASH: nonalcoholic steatohepatitis; NEFA: non-esterified fatty acid; NF-κB: nuclear factor-κB; OSAS: obstructive sleep apnoea syndrome; PAI-1: plasminogen activator inhibitor-1; ROS: reactive oxygen species; TNF-α: tumor necrosis factor-α; T2D: type 2 diabetes.


non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), obstructive sleep apnoea syndrome (OSAS), body mass index (BMI)