Circulating CXCL11 and CXCL10 are increased in hepatitis C-associated cryoglobulinemia in the presence of autoimmune thyroiditis
No data are available about circulating levels of the CXCL11 chemokine in hepatitis C virus (HCV)-associated mixed cryoglobulinemia (MC) patients with or without autoimmune thyroiditis (AT). The aim of the present study, therefore, was to evaluate serum CXCL11 levels in these patients. Serum CXCL11 (and for comparison, CXCL10) was measured in 45 patients with MC, 45 patients with MC and AT (MC + AT), 45 sex- and age-matched controls without AT (control 1), 45 sex- and age-matched patients with AT without cryoglobulinemia (control 2), and in 45 sex- and age-matched patients with hepatitis C chronic infection without MC (HCV+). Serum CXCL11 and CXCL10 levels were significantly higher in control 2 than in control 1 (p < 0.01). MC patients had CXCL11 and CXCL10 significantly higher than control 1 (p < 0.01). MC + AT patients had CXCL11 and CXCL10 higher than control 2 (p < 0.01) and MC patients (p = 0.02). Serum CXCL11 levels were not associated with any of the clinical features of cryoglobulinemia in patients with MC and MC + AT, which was the same for CXCL10. CXCL10 and CXCL11 in HCV+ patients were significantly higher than in controls 1 and 2, but lower than in MC or MC+AT patients. Our study first demonstrates higher serum levels of CXCL11 chemokine in patients with MC than in HCV+ patients, and in particular in the presence of AT.