eISSN: 1644-4124
ISSN: 1426-3912
Central European Journal of Immunology
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1/2013
vol. 38
 
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abstract:

Clinical immunology
Serum levels of interleukin 17 and its activators in chronic hepatitis C patients

Krzysztof Gutkowski
,
Marek Hartleb
,
Teresa Kacperek-Hartleb
,
Joanna Musialik
,
Grzegorz Boryczka
,
Maciej Kajor

(Centr Eur J Immunol 2013; 38 (1): 76-79)
Online publish date: 2013/04/17
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Immune dysregulations in patients with chronic hepatitis C are still poorly understood, particularly their inflammatory pathways. Recent studies have shown that transforming growth factor β (TGF-β) alone promotes the generation of anti-inflammatory regulatory T lymphocytes (T-reg) from nal¨ve T CD4+ cells, while TGF-β in concert with interleukin 6 (IL-6) promotes Th17 cells that produce IL-17. We studied serum levels of IL-17 and its known activators (IL-6, TGF-β) in 55 hepatitis C patients and 33 age- and gender-matched healthy subjects. Cytokine levels were quantified by sandwich enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays. Surprisingly, IL-17 serum levels were significantly higher in healthy subjects than in hepatitis C patients (16.5 ±6.6 pg/ml vs. 8.1 ±5.5 pg/ml; p < 0.0000). By contrast, serum

TGF-β levels were significantly lower in healthy subjects (30.9 ±7.4 ng/ml vs. 40.7 ±20.6 ng/ml; p = 0.0327). Serum levels of IL-6 did not differ between groups but correlated positively with the stage of fibrosis in hepatitis C patients (r = 0.36; p = 0.005). Our findings suggest that hepatitis C virus down-regulates IL-17 production and up-regulates TGF-β production. The increased level of TGF-β in HCV patients may be responsible for suppressing IL-17 production by Th17 cells.
keywords:

hepatitis C, interleukin 17, TGF-β

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