Potential Hepatoprotective Role of Galectin-3 during HCV Infection in End-Stage Renal Disease Patients

Hepatitis C virus infection (HCV), one of the greatest causes of liver disease, is a frequent complication in patients with end-stage renal disease (ESRD) on dialysis. ESRD is defined as decreased glomerular filtration and also accompanied by impaired function of the immune system. Galectin-3 is a β-galactoside-binding lectin, involved in various biological processes including pathogenesis of chronic renal disease. The aim of our study was to estimate disease severity in ESRD HCV+ patients and analyze the serum concentrations of IL-1β, IL-4, IL-23, and IL-6; anti-HCV antibodies; and galectin-3. Also, we attempted to determine potential correlation between galectin-3 level and parameters of disease severity ALT and AST. Our results showed decreased levels of ALT and AST (p = 0 00), demonstrating less liver destruction in ESRD HCV+ patients in comparison to HCV+ patients. Increased levels of IL-6 (p = 0 03) implicate a hepatoprotective role of IL-6 in these patients. Also, level of galectin-3 (p = 0 00) in the serum of ESRD HCV+ patients was higher than that of HCV+ patients. This alteration was accompanied with negative correlation between galectin-3 and AST and ALT, respectively (p = 0 029; p = 0 033). The presence of increased systemic levels of IL-6 and Gal-3 in ESRD HCV+ patients may be an attempt to counteract or limit ongoing proinflammatory processes and to downregulate chronic inflammation, suggesting the new aspects of HCV infection in ESRD patients.
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