Cytokine secretion profile associated with periportal fibrosis in S. mansoni-infected Egyptian patients.
ABSTRACT Periportal fibrosis (PPF) is a major pathological consequence of S. mansoni infection. Ultrasonography is a well-established tool for diagnosis and grading of schistosomiasis-related pathology. This work is performed to study the effect of schistosomiasis mansoni infection on the cytokine secretion profile in S. mansoni-infected patients at various grades of fibrosis, as determined by ultrasonography using Cairo Working Group classification. The levels of IL-2, IL-4, IL5, IL-10, IFN-gamma, and TNF-alpha were measured in the absence of in vitro antigen stimulation and after stimulation with worm and egg antigens. Simple intestinal (INT) patients are characterized by strong proliferation to worm antigen and high levels of IL-10 and TNF-alpha compared to patients at various grades of infection. GradeII (GdII)-infected patients are characterized by higher IL-5 production than are patients with other clinical forms of the disease. Sharp reduction of almost all cytokines in response to both worm and egg antigens was detected in GdIII-infected patients. These results stressed the role of both IL-10 and TNF-alpha in the early stages of hepatic fibrosis, while IL-5 could be employed as a potential predictive marker for advanced stages. In conclusion, PPF is associated with cytokine production profiles that vary with the magnitude of the fibrosis.