Acute and Chronic immune biomarker changes during interferon/ribavirin treatment in HIV/HCV co-infected patients

M. K. Jain, B. Adams-Huet, D. Terekhova, L. E. Kushner, R. Bedimo, X. Li, M. Holodniy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Chronic viral infections lead to persistent immune activation, which is alleviated by eradicating or suppressing the infection. To understand the effects of interferon treatment on immune system activation by chronic infections, we evaluated kinetic patterns of a broad spectrum of serum biomarkers during HCV treatment in HIV/HCV co-infected patients. HCV viral load and 50 biomarkers were analysed at baseline and 27 time points during pegylated interferon-alpha and ribavirin (IFN/RBV) treatment of 12 HIV/HCV co-infected patients. We evaluated biomarker changes from baseline for each time point and biomarker correlations with clinical parameters, treatment response and liver histopathology. IL-1α, IL-12p40, IL-1RA, IP-10, MIG, MIP-1α/1β, HGF, sCD40L, TRAIL and leptin increased in the first day. IL-12p70, IL-17A, IL-10, GROα, IL-8, MCP-3, IL-4 and M-CSF peaked later during week 1. IL-1α, HGF, IP-10, MIP-1α, TRAIL, sCD40L, IL-10, IL-12p70, MCP-3, FGFb, ENA-78, TGF-β, IL-2, IFN-γ, IL-6, IL-15, IL-7 and PDGF-BB decreased below baseline over the course of treatment. Higher BMI, baseline HCV viral load and leptin levels were associated with lack of sustained virologic response. ENA-78 was associated with sustained viral response. Positive correlations were found between liver inflammation and baseline CD4 count, sVCAM and HGF; fibrosis stage and HGF; liver steatosis, BMI and leptin. Our findings suggest IFN/RBV treatment initially increases levels of several biomarkers, but eventually leads to a decline in many immune markers. These findings shed light on the relationship between IFN treatment and immune activation by chronic viral infections, such as HCV.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)25-36
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Viral Hepatitis
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2014


  • Antiviral treatment
  • HCV
  • HIV
  • Immune response
  • Interferon

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hepatology
  • Virology
  • Infectious Diseases


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