CB2-63 and HCV-related immune-mediated disorders

Margherita Macera

Aims: To evaluate whether CB2 variants are associated with the presence of immune-mediated disorders (IMDs) in patients with chronic HCV infection.
Methods: One hundred and sixty-eight anti-HCV/HCV-RNA-positive patients were enrolled, 81 with signs of IMDs and 87 without. In the IMDs group, 22 (27.2%) showed ANA positivity (titers ≥1:160), 3 (3.7%) SMA positivity (titers ≥1:160), 24 (29.6%) had cryoglobulinemia, 25 (30.9%) autoimmune thyroiditis, 4 (4.9%) psoriasis, 2 (2.5%) B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma and 1 (1.2%) autoimmune hemolytic anemia. All patients were screened for the CNR2 rs35761398 single nucleotide polymorphism using a TaqMan Assay
Results: Compared with the 87 patients without IMDs,the 81 with IMDs were more frequently females (65% vs 45%, p=0.01), but no significant difference was found in the initial demographic, epidemiological, serological, biochemical or virological data. Instead, the prevalence of patients with the CB2-63 RR variant was significantly higher in the IMD than in the non-IMD group (49.4% vs 24.1%, p=0.001).A logistic regression analysis including the CB2-63 receptor (RR vs QR or QQ), age and sex identified the CB2-63 RR as the only independent predictor of IMDs (p =0.005).
Conclusions: The data suggest a significant, previously unknown, independent association between the CB2-63 RR variant and IMDs in anti-HCV-positive patients.

Simone Agnello
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