The Duffy null genotype is associated with a lower level of CCL2, leukocytes and neutrophil count but not with the clinical outcome of HTLV-1 infection

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Abstract

Purpose.

Chemokines are important in the immune response against viral infections, and may play a role in human T-lymphotropic virus 1 (HTLV-1)-associated myelopathy/tropical spastic paraparesis (HAM/TSP) pathogenesis. Polymorphisms in the Duffy antigen receptor for chemokines (DARC), such as rs12075 (A>G; FY*B>FY*A) and rs281477 (−46T>C; GATA-1 box) may influence circulating concentrations of proinflammatory chemokines. We investigate whether Duffy genotypes influence the HTLV-1 proviral load (PVL) level, HTLV-1 infection outcome and chemokine concentrations in HTLV-1 asymptomatic carriers (AC=162), HAM/TSP patients (HAM=135) and seronegative individuals (SN=71).

Methodology.

Quantification of plasmatic IL8, CCL2 and CCL5 were performed by flow cytometry and Duffy genotypes were investigated by real-time PCR. HTLV-1 PVL was quantified in peripheral blood. To control for spurious association, individual ancestry profiles in AC and HAM groups were investigated.

Results/Key findings.

PVL and IL8 level were significantly higher in the HAM group than in the AC group, but were not associated with Duffy genotypes. The highest CCL2 and CCL5 levels were seen in the SN group, and there was no difference when comparing the infected groups. The level of CCL5 was not associated with Duffy genotypes. The polymorphism −46 C/C that abrogates the DARC expression on the erythrocytes was significantly associated with lower levels of CCL2, neutrophil and white blood cell (WBC) counts in HTLV-1-infected individuals.

Conclusion.

We conclude that although the Duffy null genotype was associated with leukopenia, neutropenia and lower levels of CCL2, the data do not suggest the influence of Duffy genotypes on the neurologic outcome of HTLV-1 infection, but may be a confounding factor in comparison HTLV-1-infected populations with different ancestries, especially when defining inflammatory biomarkers.

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