November 22, 2011

Beneficial IL28B genotype associated with lower frequency of hepatic steatosis in patients with chronic hepatitis C

Journal of Hepatology
Volume 55, Issue 6 , Pages 1195-1200, December 2011

Hans L. Tillmann, Keyur Patel, Andrew J. Muir, Cynthia D. Guy, Josephine H. Li, Xiang Qian Lao, Alexander Thompson, Paul J. Clark, Stephen D. GardnerJohn G. McHutchison, Jeanette J. McCarthy

Received 3 December 2010; received in revised form 1 March 2011; accepted 16 March 2011. published online 15 April 2011


Background & Aims
IL28B polymorphisms have been associated with both treatment induced and spontaneous clearance of hepatitis C virus (HCV). We previously found that LDL cholesterol levels were higher in chronic hepatitis C (CHC) patients with the CC genotype at the rs12979860 polymorphism, located proximal to the IL28 gene. Here we analyzed the association of steatosis with IL28B genotype in treatment naïve patients with CHC.

Two independent cohorts of 145 genotype 1 infected patients from an antifibrotic study and 180 genotype 1 patients from Duke were analyzed for the presence and severity of steatosis in relation to the rs12979860 polymorphism at the IL28B locus. TaqMan assay based genotyping classified three groups CC, CT, and TT.

CC genotype was associated with a lower prevalence of steatosis. In the antifibrotic study, steatosis was found in 47.6% (50/105) of IL28B non-CC vs. 22.5% (9/40; p=0.008) in CC patients. Similarly, steatosis was found in 67.4% (89/132) of non-CC patients compared to only 39.6% (19/48; p=0.001) of CC patients in the Duke cohort.

IL28B CC genotype is associated with less pronounced disturbances of lipid metabolism, as reflected both in serum lipoprotein levels and hepatic steatosis, in HCV infection.

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