Elevated TGF-β1 levels might protect HCV/ HIV-coinfected patients from liver fibrosis
Article first published online: 27 SEP 2010
© 2010 The Authors. European Journal of Clinical Investigation © 2010 Stichting European Society for Clinical Investigation Journal Foundation
European Journal of Clinical Investigation
Volume 41, Issue 1, pages 70–76, January 2011
How to Cite
Rallón, N. I., Barreiro, P., Soriano, V., García-Samaniego, J., López, M. and Benito, J. M. (2011), Elevated TGF-β1 levels might protect HCV/ HIV-coinfected patients from liver fibrosis. European Journal of Clinical Investigation, 41: 70–76. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2362.2010.02381.x
- Issue published online: 8 DEC 2010
- Article first published online: 27 SEP 2010
- Received 21 December 2009; accepted 20 August 2010
- liver fibrosis;
- Treg cells
Eur J Clin Invest 2010; 41 (1): 70–76
Background HIV accelerates hepatitis C virus (HCV)-induced liver fibrosis by mechanisms not well understood. As HIV dysregulates transforming growth factor-β1 (TGF-β1) and T regulatory (Treg) cells, both of which are involved in hepatic fibrogenesis, herein we describe their influence on liver fibrosis staging in patients with chronic hepatitis C with and without HIV coinfection.
Methods Eighty-eight subjects (42 HIV/HCV co-infected patients, 20 HCV-monoinfected patients, and 26 healthy controls) were examined. Treg cells (CD4+Foxp3+) were measured in peripheral blood using flow cytometry. An enzyme immunoassay was used to measure TGF-β1 in plasma. Liver fibrosis staging was estimated using elastometry and advanced liver fibrosis was considered for ≥ 9·5 kPa (F3–F4 Metavir estimates).
Results Treg cells were increased in HIV/HCV-coinfected patients compared with HCV-monoinfected patients (P = 0·004), whereas TGF-β1 levels were similar in both groups of patients. While Treg cells levels were similar in both null-mild and advanced liver fibrosis patients, a high level of TGF-β1 was found in patients with low levels of liver fibrosis compared with those with advanced liver fibrosis [14·9 ng mL−1 (5·6–37·9) vs. 5·5 ng mL−1 (1·9–7·9) respectively P = 0·007]. In a multivariate logistic regression model, elevated TGF-β1 levels were significantly associated with not having advanced liver fibrosis [OR: 0·13 (95% CI: 0·02–0·71), P = 0·019].
Conclusions While Treg cells do not influence liver fibrosis staging, elevated TGF-β1, probably through its anti-inflammatory effects, might protect HCV/HIV-coinfected patients from liver fibrosis.