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Dysregulation of toll‐like receptor (TLR) 2 expression on monocytes and upregulation of the frequency of T cells expressing TLR2 in patients with chronic hepatitis C virus infection

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Toll‐like receptors (TLRs) initiate inflammatory responses that may play a role in disease progression in patients infected with hepatitis C virus (HCV). TLR2 and TLR4 surface expression were assessed on CD14+ monocytes, CD4+ and CD8+ T cells in treatment naïve patients with chronic HCV infection with fibrosis, without fibrosis, co‐infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), and in healthy controls. Increased expression of TLR2 was found on monocytes in HCV‐infected patients with fibrosis (p < 0.01), co‐infected with HIV (p = 0.03), and possibly in patients without fibrosis (p = 0.07) when compared to controls. TLR2 positive CD4+ and CD8+ T cells were upregulated in patients with fibrosis only (p < 0.01). However, expression of TLR2 was not associated with T cell activation. TLR4 expression was similar in patients and healthy controls. In conclusion, TLR2 expression on monocytes and the frequency of T cells expressing TLR2 may contribute to disease progression in chronic HCV infection.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: May 1, 2013

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