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East Mediterr Health J. 2013 Feb;19(2):181-5.

Interleukins 12 and 13 levels among beta-thalassaemia major patients.

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Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Alexandria, Alexandria, Egypt.


The role of inflammatory cytokines in the pathophysiology of beta-thalassaemia is still unclear. In this study production levels of interleukins (IL)-12 and IL-13 were measured by commercial ELISA in culture supernatants of mitogen-stimulated peripheral blood mononuclear cells-from 30 non-splenectomized beta-thalassaemia cases with iron overload and 20 age- and sex-matched healthy individuals. IL-12 levels were significantly lower among cases compared with controls (91.4 pg/mL versus 154.6 pg/mL), while IL-13 levels were significantly higher (42.5 pg/mL versus 5.7 pg/mL). There was a significant negative correlation between IL-12 and lL-13 levels among beta-thalassaemia cases (r= -0.42). Patients with beta-thalassaemia alone had higher IL-12 levels than beta-thalassaemia patients who were seropositive for chronic hepatitis B or C virus infection (140 pg/mL versus 50 pg/mL); IL-13 levels were slightly lower (65 pg/mL versus 67 pg/mL). An imbalance in the IL-12/IL-13 axis may be relevant to the pathophysiology of beta-thalassaemia.

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