Association of interleukin-28B polymorphisms with platelet count and liver function recovery after liver transplant

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The present genome-wide association study investigated the relationship of interleukin 28B (IL-28B) genetic variants with HBV susceptibility and prognosis of HBV-infected patients. This study aims to examine the role of IL-28B polymorphisms on transplant etiologies and the liver function recovery in Chinese liver transplant recipients.

A total of 231 liver transplant recipients were enrolled in the study. The transplant etiologies included progressive HBV hepatitis, HBV-related liver cirrhosis (LC), HBV-related hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), and non-HBV-related disease. All recipients were in stable condition before transplantation. Three single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of IL-28B (rs12979860, rs12980275, rs8099917) of recipients were analyzed by high-resolution melting (HRM) curve analysis. Liver function, blood cell count, and coagulation function were regularly tested before and for next 5 years after transplantation.

No significant association was found between IL-28B gene polymorphisms and transplant etiologies. Peripheral platelet count in the third and fourth days after transplantation were significantly higher in recipients carrying IL-28B rs12979860 T allele, or rs8099917 C allele (P < .016666667), while there were no significant differences between these variants and International Normalized Ratio (INR) levels. In addition, gamma-glutamyltransferase (GGT) levels in recipients with rs12980275 G allele were higher than those in the wide-type recipients before transplantation (P < .016666667, respectively); nevertheless, no influence of these variants on GGT recovery was observed after transplantation.

Genetic variations of IL-28B might impact on liver function recovery by influencing peripheral platelet counts and reducing liver inflammation, but have weak association with transplant etiologies.

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