Production of cytokines in patients infected by hepatitis C virus.

INSERM U 74, Strasbourg, France.
Journal of Medical Virology (Impact Factor: 2.22). 07/1998; 55(2):89-91. DOI: 10.1002/(SICI)1096-9071(199806)55:23.0.CO;2-J
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT T helper type 1 (Th1) cytokines play an important role in antiviral defence. The purpose of this study was to quantify by ELISA IL2, soluble receptor of IL2 (IL2Rs), IFNgamma TNFbeta, IL4, IL6 and IL10 levels in the sera of 134 HCV-positive patients, 69 of whom were coinfected with HIV, and in 54 HIV-HCV-negative patients. The mean IL2Rs and IFN serum levels were much higher in patients with anti-HCV than in the control group, whereas the mean IL4 and IL6 levels were lower in patients infected with HCV. There were no significant differences in cytokine levels between patients with and without HIV. There were significantly less patients with HCV than controls with IFNgamma levels under cut-off, and significantly more patients with HCV with IL4 levels under cut-off. Although serum level of cytokines must be interpreted with caution, the results suggest that Th1 response is enhanced in HCV infection.

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    ABSTRACT: Objectives: to analyze the T1/T2 cytokine profile in CD8 T cells from peripheral blood mononuclear cells from patients with genotype-1 CHC during treatment with pegylated interferon (Peg-IFN) α2a plus ribavirin (RBV). To correlate Th1/Th2 balance with virological response. Patients and methods: in this prospective longitudinal study, a total of 28 naïve genotype-1 CHC patients received Peg-IFNα2a (180 µg/week) plus RBV (1-1.2 g/day) for 48 weeks. All patients (mean age 45 ± 8 years) completed treatment and follow-up: 12 (43%) achieved a sustained virological response (SVR), 13 relapsed after end of treatment (47%), and only 3 (10%) were non-responders. Sixteen healthy controls were also analyzed (mean age 39 ± 17 years). The production of IL-4, IIFNγ, and TTNFα by CD8 T cells was measured by intracytoplasmic detection using flow cytometry in both resting and stimulated cells with a phorbol ester. Statistics: Student's t test for independent values, χ2 test, and ANOVA test were used; relapsers and non-responders were joined to achieve a higher statistical power. Results: at third month during treatment, phorbol ester-stimulated-IL-4 levels tend to be lower in patients who presented with SVR versus those who did not (0.97 vs 2.58; p = 0.1). No statistically significant differences were found in IIFNγ and TTNFα levels at month 3. At EOT, the stimulated-IIFNγ production was significantly higher in patients with SVR (20 vs. 8; p < 0.05). Conversely, IL-4 production was higher in NR patients although these data did not reach statistical significance (p < 0.1). No significant differences were found in TTNFα (14 vs. 7; p < 0.2). Conclusions: Cytokine T1 induced-response maintenance during combination treatment, measured as IIFNg production by CD8+ T lymphocytes, is associated with SVR and suggests the replication control and later clearance of patients infected by genotype-1 HCV.
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