Interleukin 28B gene polymorphisms in hepatitis c virus-related cryoglobulinemic vasculitis

Domenico Sansonno, Sabino Russi, Gaetano Serviddio, Vincenza Conteduca, Giovanna D'Andrea, Loredana Sansonno, Fabio Pavone, Gianfranco Lauletta, Maria Addolorata Mariggiò, Franco Dammacco

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Objective. Single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) in the interleukin 28B (IL-28B) gene region are strongly predictive of the response of infected patients to antiviral therapy for hepatitis C virus (HCV). We sought to determine the prevalence of SNP IL-28B rs12979860 C/C and non-C/C (C/T plus T/T) genotypes in HCV-related cryoglobulinemic vasculitis (CV), as compared with HCV-positive patients without CV. We also searched for their association with peculiar clinical manifestations of CV and potential influence on the complete response (virological, molecular, and immunological) to the therapy. Methods. The study cohort comprised 159 and 172 HCV-infected patients with and without CV, respectively, prospectively followed starting from 1990. SNP rs12979860 genotyping was performed by Taq-Man allelic discrimination. In 106 patients (66.6%) with CV, the profile of circulating B cell clonalities was determined as well. All patients with CV were treated with pegylated interferon-a/ribavirin- based antiviral therapy. Results. The T/T IL-28B genotype was more common in patients with CV than in those without (17% vs 8.1%, p = 0.02). In patients with CV, compared with non-C/C variants, the IL-28B C/C genotype was associated with a higher rate of complete response (52.6% vs 39.2%, p = 0.13), whereas a treatment response of 61.4% was demonstrated when solely virological response was considered (p = 0.008). A higher frequency of expanded B cell clonalities in the circulation (84.2% vs 55.9%; p = 0.005), kidney involvement (21% vs 2.9%; p = 0.003), and B cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma (17.5% vs 6.8%; p = 0.048), were also observed. Conclusion. In HCV-positive patients with CV, the IL-28B C/C genotype is distinguished biologically by a higher frequency of restriction of B cell response and clinically by a higher risk of cryoglobulinemic nephropathy and B cell malignancies, while acting as an independent predictor of a sustained virological response to antiviral therapy. In addition, we found that IL-28B T/T variant was more prevalent in patients with CV than in those without. The Journal of Rheumatology

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)91-98
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Rheumatology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2014


  • Antiviral therapies
  • Cryoglobulinemic vasculitis
  • HCV infection
  • Interleukin 28B
  • Single-nucleotide polymorphism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rheumatology
  • Immunology
  • Immunology and Allergy

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    Sansonno, D., Russi, S., Serviddio, G., Conteduca, V., D'Andrea, G., Sansonno, L., Pavone, F., Lauletta, G., Mariggiò, M. A., & Dammacco, F. (2014). Interleukin 28B gene polymorphisms in hepatitis c virus-related cryoglobulinemic vasculitis. Journal of Rheumatology, 41(1), 91-98.