Hepcidin is related to the pathogenesis of chronic renal failure anemia, which is considered a chronic inflammatory state as well as HCV infection. IL-6 stimulates the release of hepcidin from the liver, suppresses intestinal iron uptake, and releases iron from internal stores.
To detect the association between IL-6 gene polymorphism and anemia markers, 80 hemodialysis (HD) patients [40 negative HCV HD patients and 40 positive HCV HD patients] were studied by routine chemistry and complete blood count, in addition to the assessment of serum hepcidin, iron parameters [serum iron and serum ferritin], and hepatitis C markers. IL-6 polymorphism -174G/C was determined by MS-PCR, while IL-6 polymorphisms -597G/A and -572 G/C were detected by PCR-SSP.
Hepcidin was non-significantly elevated in HCV-positive compared with HCV-negative hemodialysis patients. A statistically significant difference was detected between the negative and positive HCV HD patients in frequencies of IL-6 -174 G/C and -597 G/A (P≤ 0.01 and P≤ 0.001, respectively). On the other hand, a non-significant difference was reported between negative and positive HCV HD patients in the frequencies of IL-6 -572 G/C.
Our study indicated that IL-6 -174 G/C and -597 G/A polymorphisms may play a role in HCV susceptibility in HD patients. Additional prospective studies on a larger population are needed to confirm our findings.