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Clin Microbiol Infect. 2011 Feb;17(2):204-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-0691.2010.03206.x.

A rapid chemokine response of macrophage inflammatory protein (MIP)-1α, MIP-1β and the regulated on activation, normal T expressed and secreted chemokine is associated with a sustained virological response in the treatment of chronic hepatitis C.

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  • 1Laboratory of Gastroenterology and Nutrition, Institute of Clinical Medicine, University of Tromsø, Norway.


The role of chemokines in chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is not fully understood. The present study aimed to characterize the baseline serum concentrations and the initial β-chemokine response to treatment with interferon-α and ribavirin with respect to the final clinical outcome of virological response to treatment. Serum concentrations of alanine aminotransferase (ALT) and of the CC subfamily chemokines [macrophage inflammatory protein (MIP)-1α, MIP-1β, monocyte chemoattractant protein (MCP)-1 and the regulated on activation, normal T expressed and secreted (RANTES) chemokine] were measured in patients with chronic HCV infection and in healthy individuals. Necroinflammation and fibrosis were scored in liver biopsies. Treatment outcomes were classified as with or without a sustained virological response after a full-course treatment according to the genotypes. The main treatment group consisted of 72 patients with chronic hepatitis C, whereas 24-h blood samples were available for 42 patients. Increased baseline levels of all CC chemokines were found in the two responder groups compared to the healthy controls, although significant levels were reached only for MIP-1α and MCP-1. No correlation was observed between chemokine levels and serum ALT levels, any histological necroinflammatory parameters, or the fibrosis grade. After 24 h of treatment, increases in MIP-1α, MIP-1β and RANTES levels were exclusively observed in the group with sustained virological response. MCP-1 was also significantly increased after 24 h in both responder groups, although no differences were observed between the two responder groups. In conclusion, an early MIP-1α, MIP-1β, and RANTES response may predict a sustained response to virological treatment.

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