Role of TLRs and IL-6 in the outcome of chronic hepatitis C treatment in Tunisian population

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Abstract

Objectives

TLRs are one of the most studied families of pathogen recognition receptors (PRRs) and play a pivotal role during HCV infection. The binding of ligands to TLRs on antigen presenting cells (APCs) leads to secretion of inflammatory cytokines, such as IL6, and induction of the acquired immunity response. Therefore, it has become necessarily to harness the TLRs properties’ on therapeutically tools to enhance the HCV treatment response. Herein, we investigated the association between TLR3, TLR4 variants and nine IL-6 polymorphisms, and response to anti-viral treatment during HCV infection.

Methods

Study subjects comprised 120 patients infected with HCV-1b and treated with Peg-IFN/RBV. Genotyping of nine IL-6 variants were done by real –time PCR and genotyping of TLRs polymorphisms were done by RFLP-PCR.

Results

High frequency of TLR3 rs3775290 C/C genotype and TLR4 rs4986790 A/A genotype were noticed among patients with sustained viral response compared to Non-responder patients. The genetic association of TLR3 and TLR4 variants was evidenced by the improvement in the kinetics of viral load decline, with superiority of TLR3 compared to TLR4. Among, nine polymorphisms studied on IL-6 only rs1800796, rs2069845 and rs1880242 were associated with sustained viral response. Our study reports also that the common favourable IL-28B variant is essential for TLR-activated antiviral protection.

Conclusion

TLR3 and TLR4 are involved in the pathogenesis of viral infections. TLR3 may be better suited than TLR4 to activate anti-viral program. Moreover, we propose that the Th2 cytokine, IL-6, constitutes a determinant of the outcome of therapy in HCV patients.

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