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J Hepatol. 2004 Oct;41(4):652-8.

Influence of interleukin 12B (IL12B) polymorphisms on spontaneous and treatment-induced recovery from hepatitis C virus infection.

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Charité, Campus Virchow-Klinikum, Medizinische Klinik mit Schwerpunkt, Hepatologie und Gastroenterologie, Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Augustenburger Platz 1, 13353 Berlin, Germany.



Interleukin-12 (IL-12) governs the Th1-type immune response, affecting the spontaneous and treatment-induced recovery from HCV-infection. We investigated whether the IL12B polymorphisms within the promoter region (4 bp insertion/deletion) and the 3'-UTR (1188-A/C), which have been reported to influence IL-12 synthesis, are associated with the outcome of HCV infection.


We analyzed 186 individuals with spontaneous HCV clearance, 501 chronically HCV infected patients, and 217 healthy controls. IL12B 3'-UTR and promoter genotyping was performed by Taqman-based assays with allele-specific oligonucleotide probes and PCR-based allele-specific DNA-amplification, respectively.


The proportion of IL12B promoter and 3'-UTR genotypes did not differ significantly between the different cohorts. However, HCV genotype 1-infected patients with high baseline viremia carrying the IL12B 3'-UTR 1188-C-allele showed significantly higher sustained virologic response (SVR) rates (25.3% vs. 46% vs. 54.5% for A/A, A/C and C/C) due to reduced relapse rates (24.2% vs. 12% vs. zero % for A/A, A/C and C/C).


IL12B 3'-UTR 1188-C-allele carriers appear to be capable of responding more efficiently to antiviral combination therapy as a consequence of a reduced relapse rate. No association of IL12B polymorphisms and self-limited HCV infection could be demonstrated.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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