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. 2004 May;37(5):643-7.
doi: 10.1590/s0100-879x2004000500003. Epub 2004 Apr 22.

Interferon-alpha Receptor 1 mRNA Expression in Peripheral Blood Mononuclear Cells Is Associated With Response to Interferon-Alpha Therapy of Patients With Chronic Hepatitis C

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Interferon-alpha Receptor 1 mRNA Expression in Peripheral Blood Mononuclear Cells Is Associated With Response to Interferon-Alpha Therapy of Patients With Chronic Hepatitis C

K B Massirer et al. Braz J Med Biol Res. .
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Abstract

Interferon (IFN)-alpha receptor mRNA expression in liver of patients with chronic hepatitis C has been shown to be a response to IFN-alpha therapy. The objective of the present study was to determine whether the expression of mRNA for subunit 1 of the IFN-alpha receptor (IFNAR1) in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) is associated with the response to IFN-alpha in patients with chronic hepatitis C. Thirty patients with positive anti-HCV and HCV-RNA, and abnormal levels of alanine aminotransferase in serum were selected and treated with IFN-alpha 2b for one year. Those with HBV or HIV infection, or using alcohol were not included. Thirteen discontinued the treatment and were not evaluated. The IFN-alpha response was monitored on the basis of alanine aminotransferase level and positivity for HCV-RNA in serum. IFNAR1-mRNA expression in PBMC was measured by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction before and during the first three months of therapy. The results are reported as IFNAR1-mRNA/beta-actin-mRNA ratio (mean +/- SD). Before treatment, responder patients had significantly higher IFNAR1-mRNA expression in PBMC (0.67 +/- 0.15; N = 5; P < 0.05) compared to non-responders (0.35 +/- 0.17; N = 12) and controls (0.30 +/- 0.16; N = 9). Moreover, IFNAR1-mRNA levels were significantly reduced after 3 months of treatment in responders, whereas there were no differences in IFNAR1 expression in non-responders during IFN-alpha therapy. Basal IFNAR1-mRNA expression was not correlated with the serum level of alanine and aspartate aminotransferases or the presence of cirrhosis. The present results suggest that IFNAR1-mRNA expression in PBMC is associated with IFN-alpha response to hepatitis C and may be useful for monitoring therapy in patients with chronic hepatitis C.

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