Polymorphisms in the TGFB1 and FOXP3 genes are associated with the presence of antinuclear antibodies in chronic hepatitis C

Heliyon. 2020 Jul 22;6(7):e04524. doi: 10.1016/j.heliyon.2020.e04524. eCollection 2020 Jul.


Chronic infection with Hepacivirus C (HCV) can lead to the occurrence of antinuclear antibodies (ANAs) and changes in cytokine profiles that can be similar to autoimmune diseases. The aim of the study was to identify polymorphisms in important mediators of the immune response in association with ANAs, which could contribute to the development of autoimmunity in hepatitis C. The study included 87 patients with chronic hepatitis C who were evaluated for the presence of ANA (indirect immunofluorescence) and for polymorphisms in the FOXP3, IFNG, IL6, IL8, IL10, MBL2, CRP, TGFΒ1 and TNFA genes (real-time PCR). Of the patients evaluated, 17 (19.54%) had ANA reactivity. The G allele of the FOXP3 rs2232365 polymorphism was more frequent in ANA-positive women (p = 0.0231; OR = 3,285). The C allele of the TGFΒ1 rs1800469 polymorphism was associated with ANA production (p = 0.0169; OR = 2.88). The results suggest that polymorphisms in genes related to immunological regulation may be associated with mechanisms that lead to the emergence of autoantibodies in the context of chronic Hepacivirus C infection.

Keywords: Ana; Chronic hepatitis C; FOXP3; Immune response; Immunology; Infectious disease; Microbiology; Polymorphisms; TGF-β1; Virology; Viruses.