Department of Medical Laboratory Technology, Faculty of Allied Medical Science, Pharos University in Alexandria, Egypt
In chronic HCV infection, pathological accumulation of the extracellular matrix is the main feature of liver fibrosis; that indicates the imbalanced rate of increased matrix synthesis to decreased breakdown of connective tissue proteins. Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) play a crucial role in remodeling of extracellular matrix. It is known that expression of MMPs is regulated by Tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α. Also, levels of TNF-α in liver and serum are increased in chronic HCV patient. Accordingly, this study aimed to correlate the plasma levels of MMP-2, MMP-9 and TNF-α in chronic HCV patients with the pathogenesis of the liver.
The current study was conducted on 15 ﬁbrotic liver cases with detectable HCV RNA, 10 HCV cirrhotic liver cases, and 15 control subjects of matched age and sex. Plasma MMP-2, MMP-9 and TNF-α were measured by ELISA.
Data revealed that the MMP2, MMP9 and TNF-α levels showed a significant elevation in chronic HCV patients compared to control group (p= 0.001). But, no significant correlation was observed in levels of MMP-2, MMP-9, and TNF-α between fibrotic and cirrhotic cases.
MMP-2, MMP-9 and TNF-α showed high reproducibility to differentiate chronic HCV patients from control group. On the contrary, MMP-2, MMP-9 and TNF-α were not able to differentiate fibrotic from cirrhotic liver cases. Thus, MMP-2, MMP-9 and TNF-α could not be correlated with the progression of liver disease. Rather they could be used as prognostic markers of liver fibrosis.
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