Evaluation of Interleukin-21, 23 and 27 mRNA Expression and Protein Level in Liver Transplant Patients
Cytokines have prominent roles in activating of different T cells and shifting the immune response, in this study the role of three cytokines (IL-21, IL-23 and IL-27) is investigated in the liver transplant rejection. Three EDTA-treated blood samples were collected from each liver transplanted patient in 1st, 4th and 7th day of post-transplantation. The expression level of the mentioned cytokines was determined using real-time PCR for all samples. Also, the serum levels of cytokines were determined using ELISA tests. In acute rejection (AR) group (51 patients), mRNA expression pattern of IL-21and IL-23 showed a steady increase, but this pattern was converse for IL-27. Our results in non-acute rejection (non-AR) group (54 patients) showed an elevation in day 4 and then a decrease in day 7 for IL-21 and IL-23 genes. This pattern was converse again for IL-27 gene. In comparison between the two groups, in all 3 sampling times the mean of mRNA expression level of IL-21 and IL-23, showed an increase in AR group which this increase was significant for IL-21 in the 3rd (p=0.007) and for IL-23 in 2nd (p=0.048) and 3rd (p=0.049) sampling time, but the pattern of mRNA expression for IL-27 was contrary to the results of IL-21 and IL-23. Furthermore, ELISA technique also, showed the serum level changes the same as cytokines. In this study IL-21 and IL-23 showed pro-inflammatory properties in the liver transplant rejected patients. Also, IL-27 having different expression pattern, showed anti-inflammatory behavior which needs more considerations in future.
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