CXCL9-11 polymorphisms are associated with liver fibrosis in patients with chronic hepatitis C: a cross-sectional study

Clin Transl Med. 2017 Dec;6(1):26. doi: 10.1186/s40169-017-0156-3. Epub 2017 Jul 28.


Background and aims: CXCL9-11 polymorphisms are related to various infectious diseases, including hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. In this study, we analyzed the association between CXCL9-11 polymorphisms and liver fibrosis in HCV-infected patients.

Methods: We performed a cross-sectional study in 389 patients who were genotyped for CXCL9-11 polymorphisms (CXCL9 rs10336, CXCL10 rs3921, and CXCL11 rs4619915) using the Sequenom's MassARRAY platform. The primary outcome variable was the liver stiffness measurement (LSM). We established three cut-offs of LSM: LSM ≥ 7.1 kPa (F ≥ 2-significant fibrosis), LSM ≥ 9.5 kPa (F ≥ 3-advanced fibrosis), and LSM ≥ 12.5 kPa (F4-cirrhosis).

Results: Recessive, overdominant and codominant models of inheritance showed significant values, but the overdominant model was the best fitting our data. In this case, CXCL9 rs10336 AG, CXCL10 rs3921 CG and CXCL11 rs4619915 AG were mainly associated with lower values of LSM [(adjusted GMR (aGMR) = 0.85 (p = 0.005), aGMR = 0.84 (p = 0.003), and aGMR = 0.84 (p = 0.003), respectively]. Patients with CXCL9 rs10336 AG genotype had lower odds of significant fibrosis (LSM ≥ 7.1 kPa) [adjusted OR (aOR) = 0.59 (p = 0.016)], advanced fibrosis (LSM ≥ 9.5 kPa) [aOR = 0.54 (p = 0.010)], and cirrhosis (LSM ≥ 12.5 kPa) [aOR = 0.56 (p = 0.043)]. Patients with CXCL10 rs3921 CG or CXCL11 rs4619915 AG genotypes had lower odds of significant fibrosis (LSM ≥ 7.1 kPa) [adjusted OR (aOR) = 0.56 (p = 0.008)], advanced fibrosis (LSM ≥ 9.5 kPa) [aOR = 0.55 (p = 0.013)], and cirrhosis (LSM ≥ 12.5 kPa) [aOR = 0.57 (p = 0.051)]. Additionally, CXCL9-11 polymorphisms were related to lower liver stiffness under a codominant model of inheritance, being the heterozygous genotypes also protective against hepatic fibrosis. In the recessive inheritance model, the CXCL9 rs10336 AA, CXCL10 rs3921 CC and CXCL11 rs4619915 AA were associated with higher LSM values [(adjusted GMR (aGMR) = 1.19 (p = 0.030), aGMR = 1.21 (p = 0.023), and aGMR = 1.21 (p = 0.023), respectively]. Moreover, patients with CXCL9 rs10336 AA genotype had higher odds of significant fibrosis (LSM ≥ 7.1 kPa) [adjusted OR (aOR) = 1.83 (p = 0.044)] and advanced fibrosis (LSM ≥ 9.5 kPa) [aOR = 1.85 (p = 0.045)]. Furthermore, patients with CXCL10 rs3921 CC or CXCL11 rs4619915 AA genotypes had higher odds of advanced fibrosis (LSM ≥ 9.5 kPa) [aOR = 1.89 (p = 0.038)].

Conclusions: CXCL9-11 polymorphisms were related to likelihood of having liver fibrosis in HCV-infected patients. Our data suggest that CXCL9-11 polymorphisms may play a significant role against the progression of CHC and could help prioritize antiviral therapy.

Keywords: CXCL9-11; Chronic hepatitis C; Cirrhosis; Liver fibrosis; Liver stiffness; SNPs.