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Arch Hellen Med, 32(1), January-February 2015, 60-65


Evaluation of neopterin as a prognostic factor in patients with beta-thalassemia,
in comparison with cytokines and immunoglobulins

A.M. Abo Shanab,1 M.A. El-Desouky,2 N. Kholoussi,1 G. El-Kamah,3 A.A. Fahmi2
1Department of Immunogenetics, Division of Human Genetics, National Research Center, Cairo
2Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science, Cairo University, Cairo
3Department of Clinical Genetics, Division of Human Genetics, National Research Center, Cairo, Egypt

OBJECTIVE Investigation of whether the serum level of neopterin can be used as a marker in patients with β-thalassemia, evaluation of its clinical significance and correlation with other laboratory and clinical parameters, including the cytokines interleukin-4 (IL-4), interleukin-6 (IL-6) and tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α), high sensitive C-reactive protein (hs-CRP) and immunoglobulins.

METHOD Study was made of 20 healthy subjects and 56 patients with β-thalassemia, ranging in age from 3 to 25 years. The serum levels of human neopterin, IL-4, IL-6 and TNF-α were determined by the ELISA method, and of hs-CRP and immunoglobulins IgA, IgM, IgG and IgG subclasses IgG1, IgG2, IgG3 and IgG4 by the nephelometric technique.

RESULTS The serum levels of neopterin, IL-6, TNF-α and hs-CRP were significantly higher in patients with β-thalassemia than in normal subjects, but the level of IL-4 was the same in the two groups. The levels of immunoglobulins IgA and IgG, as well as IgG subclasses IgG1, IgG2, IgG3 and IgG4 were significantly higher in patients with β-thalassemia, but the level of IgM was the same as in normal subjects.

CONCLUSIONS The increased serum level of neopterin found in patients with β-thalassemia may be due to inflammation occurring with frequent blood transfusions. The increase in neopterin was associated with elevation in hs-CRP, cytokines IL-6 and TNF-α, and immunoglobulins IgA, IgG and IgG subclasses, and was not affected by sex or age.

Key words: β-thalassemia, Cytokines, hs-CRP, Immunoglobulin, Neopterin.

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