Both type 2 diabetes (T2D) and chronic hepatitis C (CHC) infection are associated with increased risk of developing hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Cytokines are known to play an important role not only in the mechanisms of insulin resistance and glucose disposal defects but also in the pathological processes occurring in the liver during viral infection. We evaluated the serum levels of many cytokines, chemokines, adipokines and growth factors in patients with type 2 diabetes, CHC, CHC-related cirrhosis, CHC and type 2 diabetes and CHC-related cirrhosis and type 2 diabetes by BioPlex assay. The obtained data evidenced that the serum levels of some proteins are significantly up-regulated in all the patients or in those with only one disease and are often higher, even if in different amounts, when both diseases are associated. In particular, our results can be useful for the clinical monitoring of patients because they give specific information in regard to the progression from CHC to LC and CHD to LCD. Moreover, some molecules have shown significant correlations with clinical/biochemical data, suggesting the possibility to define mini-panels that can be used as specific markers for the different disease staging. However, our observations demonstrate that an integrated approach is much more powerful than isolated measurements to evaluate specific stages of these two complex pathologies (type 2 diabetes and chronic CHC hepatitis) alone or when they are concomitant in a patient. In fact it has emerged as an accurate, simple, specific, noninvasive, reproducible and less expensive method that, in future, could be included in routine clinical practice to monitor the association of type 2 diabetes and/or CHC to liver cirrhosis and, possibly, to cancer, and to improve the prognosis of these diseases.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)