The systemic host defence mechanisms, especially innate immunity, in venous leg ulcer patients are poorly investigated. The aim of the current study was to measure Candida albicans killing activity and gene expressions of pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines and innate immune response regulators, TAM receptors and ligands of peripheral blood mononuclear cells separated from 69 venous leg ulcer patients and 42 control probands. Leg ulcer patients were stratified into responder and non-responder groups on the basis of wound healing properties. No statistical differences were found in Candida killing among controls, responders and non-responders. Circulating blood mononuclear cells of patients overexpress pro-inflammatory (IL-1α, TNFα, CXCL-8) and anti-inflammatory (IL-10) cytokines as well as TAM receptors (Tyro, Axl, MerTK) and their ligands Gas6 and Protein S compared with those of control individuals. IL-1α is notably overexpressed in venous leg ulcer treatment non-responders; in contrast, Axl gene expression is robustly stronger among responders. These markers may be considered as candidates for the prediction of treatment response among venous leg ulcer patients.
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