The Impact of IL28B Genotype and Liver Fibrosis on the Hepatic Expression of IP10, IFI27, ISG15, and MX1 and Their Association with Treatment Outcomes in Patients with Chronic Hepatitis C

PLoS One. 2015 Jun 26;10(6):e0130899. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0130899. eCollection 2015.


The strong impact of interleukin 28B (IL28B) polymorphisms on sustained virological response (SVR) after peginterferon and ribavirin treatment in patients with chronic hepatitis C (CHC) is well-known. We investigated IL28B variability and hepatic expression of IP10, IFI27, ISG15, and MX1 in CHC patients, the relation of each with their clinical characteristics, and how they associated with responses to combined therapy. Genotyping and gene expression analysis were conducted in a selected cohort of treatment-naïve patients who underwent interferon and ribavirin treatment. Differential expression of IP10, IFI27, ISG15, and MX1 genes was assessed from pretreatment liver biopsies using quantitative PCR. Histopathological evaluation of liver specimens was performed on the basis of the Scheuer's modified scale. We showed that hepatic IFI27, ISG15, and MX1 expression was lower in the IL28B CC 12979860 and TT rs8099917 groups than in the CT-TT rs12979860 and TG-GG rs8099917 groups (P < 0.001). We found no differences in IP10 expression between the IL28B genotypes (P > 0.05); in contrast, IP10 expression was significantly affected by the progression of fibrosis (P = 0.007). We showed that the rs12979860 CC genotype was associated with successful treatment when compared to the rs12979860 CT-TT genotype (P = 0.004). Additionally, the expression levels of IP10, IFI27 and ISG15, but not MX1, were significantly higher in non-SVR patients than in SVR patients. The effect of variation in IL28B on the results of IFN-based treatment may be associated with changes in IFI27 and ISG15, but not with IP10. Silencing of IP10 is positive and independent from IL28B prediction of SVR, which is strongly associated with liver fibrosis in CHC patients.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cytokines / genetics
  • Cytokines / metabolism*
  • Female
  • Genotype
  • Hepatitis C, Chronic / genetics
  • Hepatitis C, Chronic / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Interferons
  • Interleukins / genetics*
  • Liver Cirrhosis / genetics
  • Liver Cirrhosis / metabolism*
  • Male
  • Membrane Proteins / genetics
  • Membrane Proteins / metabolism*
  • Middle Aged
  • Myxovirus Resistance Proteins / genetics
  • Myxovirus Resistance Proteins / metabolism*
  • Receptors, Cytokine / genetics
  • Receptors, Cytokine / metabolism*
  • Ubiquitins / genetics
  • Ubiquitins / metabolism*
  • Young Adult


  • Cytokines
  • IFI27 protein, human
  • interferon-lambda, human
  • IP10-Mig receptor
  • Interleukins
  • MX1 protein, human
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Myxovirus Resistance Proteins
  • Receptors, Cytokine
  • Ubiquitins
  • ISG15 protein, human
  • Interferons

Grants and funding

This study was supported by the Ministry of Science and Higher Education (MNiSW grant no. N402 584440), Nicolaus Copernicus University (UMK, grant no. MN-4/WL-SD) and Foundation For Infectious Disease Control. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.