Objective: This study examined the T helper (Th) 1/Th17-related cytokines, interferon (IFN)-γ and interleukin (IL)-17 in the serum of biopsy-proven chronic hepatitis C patients before and after IFN and ribavirin therapy to address whether or not viral clearance is related to Th1/Th17 cytokines. Subjects and Methods: The serum levels of IFN-γ and IL-17 were assayed by ELISA on 26 patients with chronic hepatitic C virus (HCV) infection before the start and 3 months after treatment with pegylated IFN-α plus ribavarin and compared with sera from 15 normal control subjects. Results: IFN-γ and IL-17 levels are higher in the serum of patients with chronic hepatitis than in normal controls and these elevated levels were not directly correlated (r = –0.01, p = 0.96 for IFN-γ and r = –0.08, p = 0.66 for IL-17) to the viremic state of the HCV infection. In contrast to IL-17, IFN-γ showed significant reduction after 12 weeks of treatment with pegylated IFN plus ribavirin. However, IFN-γ and IL-17 serum levels were not significantly (p = 0.19 and = 0.70, respectively) different among responders and nonresponders for pegylated IFN plus ribavirin therapy. Conclusion: Our findings suggest that the combined treatment with pegylated IFN-α and ribavirin downmodulates the secretion of key cytokine IFN-γ as early as 12 weeks after treatment in infected patients. These findings could encourage new exciting possibilities for immune-based interventions with the aim of restoring functional antiviral T cell responses combined with improved viral clearance.
© 2011 S. Karger AG, Basel
- Hepatitic C virus
- Interferon therapy
- Ribavirin therapy
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Amal Sayed Ahmed, MD
Faculty of Medicine, Suez Canal University
41522 Ismailia (Egypt)
Tel. +20 10 170 3125, Fax +20 64 337 8524
Received: May 12, 2010
Accepted: November 9, 2010
Published online: May 11, 2011
Number of Print Pages : 5
Number of Figures : 1, Number of Tables : 1, Number of References : 31
Medical Principles and Practice (International Journal of the Kuwait University Health Sciences Centre)
Vol. 20, No. 4, Year 2011 (Cover Date: May 2011)
Journal Editor: Owunwanne A. (Kuwait), Benov L. (Kuwait)
ISSN: 1011-7571 (Print), eISSN: 1423-0151 (Online)
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