Background:Th1 cytokines are required for host antiviral immune responses. However little is known about the production and progression of cytokines in hepatitis C virus (HCV) infected patients. The aim of this study was to assess the serum levels of Th1 cytokines and also their association with inflammatory indicators in HCV-infected and normal individuals.
Method:Fifty four HCV-infected patients along with thirty one healthy controls were selected using the sequential sampling method. Serum levels of interleukine-2 (IL-2), interferon-gamma (IFN-y) and tumor necrosis factor-alfa (TNF-a) was determined in all the precipitants by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Moreover serum levels of alanine aminotransferase (ALT), aspartat aminotransferase (AST), alkaline phosphatase (ALP), C-reactive protein (CRP) and rheumatoid factor (RF) were also determined in both patient and control groups.
Results:The results showed that serum levels of IFN-y, TNF-a and IL-2 were higher in HCV-infected patients than controls group but the difference was significant only for TNF-a (p<0.05). A positive correlation was found between the serum level of TNF-a and IL-2 in patient group (p<0.05).
Conclusions:TNF-a is the main mediator of the acute inflammatory responses to microbial infections and in our study serum level of TNF-a in HCV-infected patients was higher than healthy subjects. Positive correlation of serum TNF-a and IL-2 levels in HCV-infected patients may contribute to the role of innate immunity in stimulating the adaptive immune responses, thus suggests role of TNF-a in antibody production.
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