Aim: To investigate the relationships among diverse metalloproteases (MMPs) and their tissue inhibitors (TIMPs) and non-alcoholic liver fibrosis in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected patients.
Methods: Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in MMPs, TNF-α and CCR5 genes, and serum levels of MMPs and TIMPs were determined in HIV-infected individuals with/out hepatitis C virus (HCV) coinfection. A total of 158 patients were included, 57 of whom were HCV-coinfected. All patients drank < 50 g ethanol/day. Diverse SNPs (MMP-1 -1607 1G/2G, MMP-8 -799C/T, MMP-9 -1562 C/T, MMP-13 -77A/G, TNF-α -308 G/A, CCR5-∆32), and serum levels of MMPs (2, 3, 8, 9 and 10) and TIMPs (1, 2 and 4) were assessed. Liver fibrosis was determined by transient elastometry, although other non-invasive markers of fibrosis were also considered. Significant liver fibrosis (F ≥ 2) was defined by a transient elastometry value ≥ 7.1 kPa.
Results: A total of 34 patients (21.5%) had liver fibrosis ≥ F2. MMP-2 and TIMP-2 serum levels were higher in patients with liver fibrosis ≥ F2 (P = 0.02 and P = 0.03, respectively) and correlated positively with transient elastometry values (P = 0.02 and P = 0.0009, respectively), whereas MMP-9 values were negatively correlated with transient elastometry measurements (P = 0.01). Multivariate analyses showed that high levels of MMP-2 (OR = 2.397; 95%CI: 1.191-4.827, P = 0.014) were independently associated with liver fibrosis ≥ F2 in the patients as a whole. MMP-2 (OR = 7.179; 95%CI: 1.210-42.581, P = 0.03) and male gender (OR = 10.040; 95%CI: 1.621-62.11, P = 0.013) were also independent predictors of fibrosis ≥ F2 in the HCV-infected subgroup. Likewise, MMP-2, TIMP-2 and MMP-9 were independently associated with transient elastometry values and other non-invasive markers of liver fibrosis. None of the six SNPs evaluated had any significant association with liver fibrosis ≥ F2.
Conclusion: Certain MMPs and TIMPs, particularly MMP-2, seems to be associated with non-alcoholic liver fibrosis in HIV-infected patients with/without HCV coinfection.
Keywords: Genetic polymorphisms; Hepatitis C virus; Human immunodeficiency virus; Liver fibrosis; Metalloproteases; Non-invasive fibrosis markers; Their tissue inhibitors; Transient elastometry.