Previously we observed elevation of the serum concentration of two acute-phase protein (AFP) complement components (C9 and C1-inhibitor) in patients with chronic hepatitis C who responded (R) to IFN-α therapy, but not in non-responders (NR). In the present study we investigated the effect of high-dose IFN-α therapy on serum concentrations of two positive [orosomucoid (OROSO) and C-reactive protein (CRP)] and two negative [transferrin (TF) and fetuin/α2HS-glycoprotein (AHSG)] AFP in an outpatient setting. We investigated blood samples of 40 patients with chronic hepatitis C at the onset and at the end of a 3-month treatment with high-dose IFN-α2b (5 MIU/day for 6 weeks, followed by 5 MIU t.i.w.) and of 52 healthy individuals. Serum concentrations of OROSO, TF and AHSG were measured by radial immunodiffusion; CRP levels were determined by immunotubridimetry. Compared to controls, patients with chronic hepatitis C had significantly lower OROSO and CRP, and higher AHSG levels. By the end of treatment, OROSO concentration increased in R (P = 0.0054), but not in NR patients. In contrast, TF levels decreased in R (P = 0.0040), but did not change in NR patients. Similarly, in R patients, AHSG levels tended to decrease (P = 0.0942) following IFN-α treatment. We conclude that the acute-phase reaction is suppressed in patients with chronic hepatitis C that may be potentially related to the responsiveness to IFN-α therapy.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy