A matched cross-sectional study of the association between circulating tissue factor activity, immune activation and advanced liver fibrosis in hepatitis C infection

2015 BMC Infectious Diseases 15;1 (190)

BACKGROUND: Tissue factor (TF) is a protein that mediates the initiation of the coagulation cascade. TF expression is increased in patients with poorly-controlled HIV, and may be associated with increased immune activation that leads to cardiovascular morbidity. The role of TF in immune activation in liver disease in hepatitis C virus (HCV)-monoinfection and HIV/HCV-coinfection has not been explored. METHODS: Fifty-nine patients were stratified: A) HIV-monoinfection (N = 15), B) HCV-monoinfection with chronic hepatitis C (CHC) (N = 15), C) HIV/HCV-coinfection with CHC (N = 14), and D) HIV/HCV-seropositive with cleared-HCV (N = 15). All HIV+ patients had undetectable HIV viremia. Whole blood was collected for CD4/CD8 immune activation markers by flow cytometry and plasma was assayed for microparticle TF (MPTF) activity. Subjects underwent transient elastography (TE) to stage liver fibrosis. Undetectable versus detectable MPTF was compared across strata using Fisher's Exact test. RESULTS: MPTF activity was more frequently detected among patients with HCV-monoinfection (40%), compared to HIV-monoinfection and HIV/HCV-seropositive with cleared HCV (7%) and HIV/HCV-coinfection with CHC (14%)(p = 0.02). Mean TE-derived liver stiffness score in kPa was higher in patients with detectable MPTF (12.4 +/- 8.5) than those with undetectable MPTF (6.4 +/- 3.0)(p = 0.01). Mean CD4 + HLADR+ and CD4 + CD38-HLADR+ expression were higher in those with detectable MPTF (44 +/- 9.8% and 38 +/- 8.7%, respectively) than those with undetectable MPTF (36 +/- 11% and 31 +/- 10.4% respectively)(p = 0.05 and 0.04 respectively). CONCLUSIONS: HCV-monoinfection and HIV/HCV-coinfection with CHC were associated with MPTF activity. MPTF activity is also associated with advanced liver fibrosis and with CD4 + HLADR+ immune activation.

Pubmed : 25884329