Use of Serum Levels of Proinflammatory Cytokine IL-1α in Chronic Hepatitis C

Nenad Vanis, Amila Mehmedović, Rusmir Mesihović


:  Immunoregulatory cytokines influence the persistence of hepatitis C virus chronic infection and the extent of liver damage. Interleukin-1 plays an important role in the inflammatory process. Some studies have demonstrated that IL-1 production was impaired in patients with chronic infections of hepatitis C virus, implying that IL-1 may play a role in viral clearance. In this study, along with routine laboratory tests, has been performed the analysis of serum levels of proinflammatory cytokine IL-1α in order of better understanding and monitoring of chronic hepatitis C.

The aim of study was to analyze the usefulness of laboratory tests, which are routinely used in the assessment of liver disease with specified immunological parameters, in patients with chronic hepatitis C.

PATIENTS  AND METHODS: Total of 60 subjects were divided into two groups: HCV- PCR positive and negative group. The control group of 30 healthy participans was included. Apart from standard laboratory tests, the analysis included serum levels of cytokine IL-1 α.

RESULTS AND DISCUSSION: IL-1α had the highest mean concentration in group of  viral hepatitis C, with PCR positive test  (5.73 pg / ml), and then in of chronic viral hepatitis C, PCR negative test (5.39 pg / ml). ANOVA  test proves that IL-1α in the healthy group  was different from other groups as follows:  in relation to HCV- RNA- PCR positive patients statistical significance level was p <0.001 (F = 32 755); in relation to  HCV- RNA- PCR negative was also statistically significant at p <0.001 (F = 182 361); Cytokine  IL-1 was statistically analyzed separately and compared by group 1 and 2 using Student t-test for independent samples. Statistical significance was observed at p = 0.026.

IL-1 α was positively correlated with the duration of the illness (p <0.01) and with serum ALT activity (p <0.01 ) and serum AST activity (p <0.01). Using multivariate analysis model "Factor Analysis",  was made significant stratification predictive parameters in relation to the cytokine IL-1α, stratified significance is indicated as follows: 1. Age, 2. hystory of receiving transfusions, 3. ALT, 4. AST, 5. MELD score (negative), 6. Chilld-Pugh score 


IL-1α was significantlly elevated in inflammatory conditions of pronounced activity (PCR positive hepatitis).

IL-1α may have important role as marker of both inflammation and hepatic injury, particularly in the course of hepatitis C. Results suggest that inflammatory and immune parameters, analyzed together can significantly contribute to the understanding and predicting of chronic liver damage.


chronic hepatitis C, parameters of inflammation, IL- 1α.

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