Obesity and steatosis influence serum and hepatic inflammatory markers in chronic hepatitis C.
ABSTRACT 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.
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ABSTRACT: Cerebrovascular diseases are leading cause of death worldwide. Plaque rupture and embolization account for one-third of ischemic stroke. The causes are not fully known, but inflammation plays a pathogenic role. Recently, HCV infection has been identify as risk of atherosclerosis. HCV replicates within carotid plaques and brain endothelia cells; moreover, HCV patients showed higher levels of inflammation. Thus, we hypothesized that subjects carrying HCV are at higher risk of stroke. Accordingly, we evaluated prevalence and role of HCV infection in patients with stroke. A priori sample size was calculated. Overall, 820 consecutive patients were enrolled, 123 with stroke and, as control, 697 age- and gender-matched (295 with COPD; 402 with diseases other than HCV-associated). Patients were evaluated for HCV and conventional risk of stroke. Prevalence of HCV was higher in patients with stroke than that observed in control (26.8% vs. 6.6%, p = 0.0001). An analysis of stroke patients showed that those HCV positive were younger (p = 0.017) had lower serum levels of cholesterol (p = 0.001), triglycerides (p = 0.045), and higher serum levels of inflammation markers (ESR, p = 0.001; CRP, p = 0.0001; fibrinogen, p = 0.012). A multivariate analysis showed that HCV infection was an independent risk factor of stroke (O.R. 2.04, 95% C.I. 1.69-2.46; p = 0.0001). A secondary analysis showed that HCV patients had higher (p = 0.031) prevalence of past ischemic heart disease. HCV infected patients are at higher and earlier risk of stroke. Inflammation is a key mediator. Clinicians in clinical practice and researchers in future trials should take into account these new findings.Atherosclerosis 11/2013; 231(1):22-26. · 3.71 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Hepatitis C virus (HCV) proteins activate the unfolded protein response (UPR) in experimental models. The role of the UPR in the pathogenesis of HCV-induced liver injury has not been determined. Our aim was to investigate the role of the UPR in the pathogenesis of chronic HCV. Liver biopsy samples from 124 patients with chronic HCV and 24 HCV/HBV-negative subjects with histologically normal liver (NDL) were assessed. The hepatic mRNA expression of components of the UPR was measured by semi-quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction. Glucose regulated protein (GRP) 78 protein expression was assessed by immunohistochemistry. The expression of GRP78 mRNA and growth arrest and damage inducible protein 34 (GADD34) mRNA was significantly lower in subjects with HCV than NDL (P = 0.007 and P < 0.001, respectively). There was no significant difference in the expression of GRP94 mRNA, spliced X box binding protein 1 (sXBP1) mRNA, C/EBP homologous protein mRNA (CHOP) and ER degradation enhancing α-mannosidase-like protein (EDEM) mRNA and GRP78 protein between patients with HCV and NDL. There were no relationships between elements of the UPR and inflammation or fibrosis in patients with HCV. Downstream components of UPR were not activated in patients with chronic HCV. Therefore, the UPR may not play a prominent role in liver injury in patients with chronic HCV infection.Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology 02/2011; 26(2):319-27. · 3.33 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Interleukin 32 (IL-32) is a recently described proinflammatory cytokine that activates p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) and nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κB), thereby inducing proinflammatory cytokines such as IL-1β and tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α). We investigated the role of IL-32 in patients with chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. Steady-state hepatic messenger RNA (mRNA) levels of IL-32 were determined in a cohort of 90 subjects; anti-IL-32 staining was used in a second cohort of 132 consecutive untreated chronic HCV patients. Correlations with histological features of steatosis, inflammation, and fibrosis were made. In vitro, endogenous IL-32 in monocytes and in the human hepatoma cell line Huh-7.5 were examined. The effects of IL-32-overexpression and IL-32-silencing on HCV replication were studied using HCV luciferase reporter viruses. There were highly significant positive associations between hepatic IL-32 mRNA expression and liver steatosis, inflammation, fibrosis, smooth muscle actin (SMA) area, and serum alanine aminotransferase (ALT) levels. IL-32 protein expression was positively associated with portal inflammation, SMA area, and ALT. In vitro, IL-1β and TNF-α significantly induced IL-32 expression in human Huh-7.5 cells. Alone, stimulation with interferon alpha (IFN-α) did not induce IL-32 expression in Huh-7.5. However, IFN-α exerted a significant additive effect on TNF-α-induced but not IL-1β-induced IL-32 expression, particularly in CD14+ monocytes. This effect was dependent both on NF-κB and Jak/STAT signaling. Viral infection of Huh-7.5 cells resulted in a significant (11-fold) induction of IL-32 mRNA expression. However, modulation of IL-32 in Huh-7.5 cells by overexpression or silencing did not influence HCV virus replication as determined by luciferase assays. CONCLUSION: IL-32 is a novel proinflammatory cytokine involved in HCV-associated liver inflammation/fibrosis. IL-32 is expressed by human hepatocytes and hepatoma cells and its expression is regulated by proinflammatory stimuli.Hepatology 03/2011; 53(6):1819-29. · 12.00 Impact Factor