Background: Coinfection of Hepatitis C virus (HCV) with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) has a higher risk of mortality than HCV or HIV monoinfection. HCV and HIV infections are specified by systemic inflammation, but the inflammation process in HCV/HIV coinfection is much complicated and is not well characterized.
Objective: The aim of this study was to analyze the expression of TLR-3, TLR-7, IL-10, IFN-1 (IFN-α, IFN-β), and TNF-α in HIV, HCV and HIV/HCV co-infected patients.
Methods: Forty-five patients including HIV group (n=15), HCV group (n=15), HIV/HCV coinfection group (n=15) and healthy control group (n=15) participated. Peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) were obtained. PBMC-RNA, HCV and HIV RNA were extracted from all subjects and cDNA was synthesized. The viral load analyzed by reverse transcription-quantitative PCR (RT-qPCR), and the expression levels of IFN-α, IFN-β, TLR-3, TLR-7, TNF, and IL-10 mRNA were quantified in PBMCs.
Results: The levels of IFN-I, IL-10, and TNF-α were overexpressed in all patients’ groups (p<0.05), TLR-7 was upregulated in all groups, but this upregulation was not statistically significant (p>0.05). TLR-3 showed a decrease in all patient groups (p<0.05). The statistical analysis demonstrated that TLR-3 has a negative correlation with HIV load, whereas other genes positively correlated with HIV load. In addition, TLR-3, TNF-α, and IFN-I were negatively correlated with HCV load, whereas TLR-7 and IL-10 s were positively correlated with HCV load.
Conclusion: Our results showed a significant relationship between the expression level of innate immunity genes and inflammation in HCV, HIV, and HIV/HCV coinfected patients.
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