Obesity and fatty liver are commonly observed among patients with chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) and are risk factors for increased hepatic fibrosis. Obesity is accompanied by a low-grade, chronic inflammatory response that may contribute to pathogenesis of obesity-related comorbidities. To assess whether obesity and steatosis potentiate expression of inflammatory markers in chronic HCV, serum protein and hepatic messenger RNA (mRNA) levels of c-reactive protein (CRP), interleukin-6 (IL-6), and tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) were measured in 171 patients with chronic HCV. The relationships of body mass index, steatosis, histological features of inflammation and fibrosis with serum and hepatic levels of these factors were determined. In comparison with lean patients, overweight and obese subjects had increased circulating (P < 0.001) and hepatic (P = 0.003) CRP, and there was a significant correlation between serum protein and hepatic CRP mRNA levels (r(s)= 0.51, P < 0.001). Obesity (P = 0.001) and steatosis (P < 0.001) were associated with increased circulating but not hepatic IL-6, and a weak correlation was seen between serum protein and hepatic IL-6 mRNA levels (r(s)= 0.29, P = 0.003). An independent relationship was seen between hepatic TNF-alpha mRNA levels and higher total inflammatory score (P < 0.001) and stage of fibrosis (P = 0.037). Subjects with HCV genotype 3 had lower hepatic TNF-alpha mRNA levels compared with subjects with genotype 1 (P = 0.017), but there was no relationship between serum TNF-alpha protein and hepatic TNF-alpha mRNA levels. CONCLUSION: In patients with chronic HCV, obesity and steatosis are associated with increased expression of selected inflammatory markers; however, circulating levels of IL-6 and TNF-alpha do not reflect hepatic expression. Hepatic TNF-alpha was associated with both increased inflammatory activity and hepatic fibrosis, providing support for the key role of this pro-inflammatory cytokine in liver injury in chronic HCV.
"Our study confirmed that the GG genotype of the TNF-α −238 gene promoter is implicated in the probability of liver cirrhosis, supporting our previous data  in a different and larger sample of HIV/HCV coinfected patients. Previous data have demonstrated the impact of TNF-α on liver fibrogenesis: increased concentrations of TNF-α have been detected in the liver of patients with chronic hepatitis C  and it has been observed that serum levels of this cytokine are correlated with the histological grading score of hepatitis . Likewise, it has been observed that patients with increased serum levels of TNF-α or its receptors showed a reduced survival rate . "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Objective
To establish the role of liver fibrosis as a predictive tool of response to pegylated interferon alpha (Peg-IFN) and ribavirin (RBV) treatment in human immunodeficiency (HIV)/hepatitis C virus (HCV) coinfected patients, in addition to recognized predictive factors (HCV load, HCV genotype, IL-28B polymorphism).
Patients and Methods
A sample of 267 HIV/HCV coinfected patients was treated with Peg-IFN and RBV. Predictive factors of rapid (RVR) and sustained (SVR) virological response were analyzed. Independent variables were age, sex, IL28B, −238 TNF-α and −592 IL-10 polymorphisms, HCV genotype, HCV-RNA levels, significant fibrosis or cirrhosis and CD4+ T cell count.
Patients infected by HCV genotype 1 (n = 187) showed RVR and SVR in 12% and 39% of cases, respectively. The parameters associated with RVR were IL28B genotype CC and plasma HCV-RNA levels <600000 IU/ml. Advanced liver fibrosis was negatively associated with SVR in patients without RVR. A SVR was obtained in 42% of subjects with HCV genotype 4, and the independent factors associated with SVR were IL28B genotype CC and an HCV-RNA <600000 IU/ml. A SVR was obtained in 66% of patients with HCV genotypes 2/3; in this case, the independent parameter associated with SVR was the absence of significant liver fibrosis. TNF-α and IL-10 polymorphisms were not associated with SVR, although a significantly higher percentage of −238 TNF-α genotype GG was detected in patients with significant liver fibrosis.
In HIV/HCV coinfected patients with HCV genotypes 1 or 4, RVR, mainly influenced by genotype IL28B and HCV-RNA levels, reliably predicted SVR after 4 weeks of therapy with Peg-IFN plus RBV. In patients infected by HCV genotype 3, an elevated relapse rate compromised the influence of RVR on SVR. Relapses were related to the presence of advanced liver fibrosis. Liver cirrhosis was associated with a −238 TNF-α polymorphism in these patients.
PLoS ONE 07/2014; 9(7):e101760. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0101760 · 3.23 Impact Factor
"TNF-α can potentially affect liver fibrogenesis by stimulating hepatic stellate cells . The pathogenic importance of TNF-α in liver disease has been previously demonstrated: besides the increased concentration of TNF-α in the liver of patients with chronic hepatitis C , it has been observed that serum levels of this cytokine are correlated with histological grading score of hepatitis ; moreover, patients with increased serum levels of TNF-α or their receptors showed a reduced survival . "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Analysis of the contribution of genetic (single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) at position -238 and -308 of the tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) and -592 of the interleukin-10 (IL-10) promotor genes) and of classical factors (age, alcohol, immunodepression, antirretroviral therapy) on the risk of liver cirrhosis in human immunodeficiency (HIV)-hepatitis C (HCV) virus coinfected patients.
Ninety one HIV-HCV coinfected patients (50 of them with chronic hepatitis and 41 with liver cirrhosis) and 55 healthy controls were studied. Demographic, risk factors for the HIV-HCV infection, HIV-related (CD4+ T cell count, antiretroviral therapy, HIV viral load) and HCV-related (serum ALT concentration, HCV viral load, HCV genotype) characteristics and polymorphisms at position -238 and -308 of the tumor necrosis factor alfa (TNF- α) and -592 of the interleukin-10 (IL-10) promotor genes were studied.
Evolution time of the infection was 21 years in both patients' groups (chronic hepatitis and liver cirrhosis). The group of patients with liver cirrhosis shows a lower CD4+ T cell count at the inclusion in the study (but not at diagnosis of HIV infection), a higher percentage of individuals with previous alcohol abuse, and a higher proportion of patients with the genotype GG at position -238 of the TNF-α promotor gene; polymorphism at -592 of the IL-10 promotor gene approaches to statistical significance. Serum concentrations of profibrogenic transforming growth factor beta1 were significantly higher in healthy controls with genotype GG at -238 TNF-α promotor gene. The linear regression analysis demonstrates that the genotype GG at -238 TNF-α promotor gene was the independent factor associated to liver cirrhosis.
It is stressed the importance of immunogenetic factors (TNF-α polymorphism at -238 position), above other factors previously accepted (age, gender, alcohol, immunodepression), on the evolution to liver cirrhosis among HIV-infected patients with established chronic HCV infections.
PLoS ONE 06/2013; 8(6):e66619. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0066619 · 3.23 Impact Factor
"Nonresponders were described as patients with a decrease less than 2 log in HCV RNA levels at the 12th week. Also patients with positive HCV RNA at the 24th week were accepted as nonresponders; treatment was continued up to 48th week for patients with negative HCV RNA at the 24th week.10-12 "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Biochemical parameters and acute-phase proteins (APPs) may provide complementary data in patients with chronic hepatitis C (CHC). We aimed to evaluate the predictive role of APPs in the response to antiviral therapy.
Forty-five patients underwent antiviral therapy. Serum ferritin, C-reactive protein (CRP), transferrin, albumin, alpha-1 acid glycoprotein (A1AG), and alpha-2 macroglobulin (A2MG) levels were examined at the initial evaluation and at the 4th, 12th, and 48th weeks. HCV RNA levels were examined at the initial evaluation and at the 12th and 48th weeks.
Ferritin, transferrin, A1AG, and A2MG levels were significantly higher in the patient group (p<0.05). CRP, ferritin, A1AG, and A2MG levels were significantly increased from baseline to the 4th week (p<0.05). The responders and nonresponders to antiviral therapy had insignificantly but remarkably different levels of CRP, ferritin, transferrin, A1AG, A2MG, and alanine aminotransferase (ALT) both at the initial evaluation and at the 12th week.
Variations in ferritin, A1AG, A2MG, albumin, CRP, and transferrin levels are not alternatives to virological and biochemical parameters for predicting an early response to therapy in patients with CHC. However, the investigation of ALT levels and hepatitis C virus RNA in combination with acute-phase reactants may provide supplementary data for evaluating responses to antiviral therapy.
Gut and liver 01/2013; 7(1):82-8. DOI:10.5009/gnl.2013.7.1.82 · 1.81 Impact Factor
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