Document Type: Research Articles
Introduction: Elevated serum interleukin (IL) 6 has been reported in patients infected with the hepatitis C virus (HCV), but it remains debatable whether this influences the production of autoantibodies and the biochemical profile of HCV disease. Therefore, this current study was conducted to evaluate the relationship between IL-6 and circulating autoantibody levels in HCV positive patients. Methods: Levels of IL-6 in serum samples from 102 patients with HCV and 103 normal controls were determined by enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Autoantibodies were detected by immunofluorescence. Results: Levels of IL-6 were significantly higher (p=0.028) in patients infected with (HCV) compared with normal group. Autoantibodies were noted in in 43.1% of the patients; of these, 23.5% featured anti-nuclear antibodies (ANA+), 16.7% anti-smooth muscle antibodies (ASMA+), 7.8% anti-mitochondrial antibodies (AMA+), 17.6% anti-parietal cell antibodies (APCA+), 7.8% anti canalicular antibodies, and 2.9% anti reticulin antibodies (ARA+). No patients were found to be positive for anti-brush border antibodies (ABBA) or anti-ribosomal antibodies. (ARiA). No links with IL-6 levels were apparent. Conclusions: IL-6 levels are increased in patients infected with HCV disease and could influence the production of autoantibodies. However, this study did not provide evidence of a specific relationship between IL6 and circulating autoantibodies in such cases.