Observational Study
Copyright ©The Author(s) 2015. Published by Baishideng Publishing Group Inc. All rights reserved.
World J Gastroenterol. Apr 7, 2015; 21(13): 4006-4013
Published online Apr 7, 2015. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v21.i13.4006
Interferon-λ-related genes and therapeutic response in Chinese hepatitis C patients
Yuan-Yuan Zhang, Hong-Bo Chen, Yin Xu, Peng Huang, Jie Wang, Yun Zhang, Rong-Bin Yu, Jing Su
Yuan-Yuan Zhang, Yin Xu, Peng Huang, Rong-Bin Yu, Jing Su, Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Public Health, Nanjing Medical University, Nanjing 211166, Jiangsu Province, China
Hong-Bo Chen, Department of Infectious Diseases, Jurong Peoples’ Hospital, Jurong 212400, Jiangsu Province, China
Jie Wang, Department of General Practice, Kangda College, Nanjing Medical University, Nanjing 210029, Jiangsu Province, China
Yun Zhang, Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology, the Institute of Military Medicine of Nanjing Command, Nanjing 210002, Jiangsu Province, China
Author contributions: Wang J, Zhang Y, Yu RB and Su J supervised the study and obtained financial support; Zhang YY and Chen HB designed the study, interpreted the results and wrote the manuscript; Xu Y and Huang P performed the research.
Supported by National Natural Science Foundation of China No. 81102164, No. 81102165, No. 81273146, and No. 81473028, Medical Research Project of Jiangsu Province No. YG201413 and the Priority Academic Program Development of Jiangsu Higher Education Institutions.
Ethics approval: The study was reviewed and approved by the Nanjing Medical University Institutional Review Board.
Informed consent: All study participants, or their legal guardian, provided informed written consent prior to study enrollment.
Conflict-of-interest: The authors declare that they have nothing to disclose.
Data sharing: No additional data are available.
Open-Access: This article is an open-access article which was selected by an in-house editor and fully peer-reviewed by external reviewers. It is distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/
Correspondence to: Jing Su, PhD, Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Public Health, Nanjing Medical University, 140 Hanzhong Road, Nanjing 211166, Jiangsu Province, China. sujing@njmu.edu.cn
Telephone: +86-25-86868436 Fax: +86-25-86868499
Received: November 3, 2014
Peer-review started: November 3, 2014
First decision: November 26, 2014
Revised: December 10, 2014
Accepted: January 8, 2015
Article in press: January 8, 2015
Published online: April 7, 2015

AIM: To determine the association between rapid viral response and IL28B, IL28RA, IL10RB and MxA polymorphisms in the Chinese Han population.

METHODS: The study cohort consisted of 238 chronic hepatitis C patients treated with interferon (IFN)-α-2b and ribavirin. Six single nucleotide polymorphisms were genotyped using the ABI TaqMan allelic discrimination assay. Biochemical indices were measured at baseline. Serum hepatitis C virus (HCV) RNA was detected at weeks 0, 4, 12 and 24 of therapy.

RESULTS: Only IL28B rs12980275 was associated with treatment response in the Chinese Han population. Patients carrying AG/GG genotypes had a reduced rapid viral response compared with patients carrying the AA genotype (additive model: adjusted OR = 0.43, 95%CI: 0.24-0.75). It took less time for patients with the AA genotype to achieve a viral load < 500 copies/mL (log-rank test, P = 0.004). In addition, the protective effect of genotype AA was independent of baseline viral load. HCV genotype, and baseline white blood cell count, α-fetoprotein and viral load might also help predict treatment response. The area under the receiver-operating characteristic curve was 0.726.

CONCLUSION: IL28B rs12980275 AA genotype is a strong predictor of positive response to IFN therapy in Chinese Han patients with hepatitis C.

Keywords: Hepatitis C virus, Interferon, Rapid viral response, IL28B, Chinese population

Core tip: The association between IL28B rs12980275 and viral response to pegylated-interferon (IFN) plus ribavirin treatment has been observed in Japanese patients, but rarely in Chinese patients. Because pegylated-IFN is more expensive, non-pegylated instead of pegylated IFN-α is more commonly used for chronic hepatitis C treatment in Chinese primary hospitals. Therefore, the role of IFN-λ-related genes in the response to non-pegylated IFN-α treatment should be established to help guide clinical decisions and improve cost-effectiveness.