Autoimmune endocrine disorders are considered one of the extrahepatic manifestations of
Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. HCV could trigger cytokines release due to local
inflammation. Interleukin 17 a (IL17a) and Interferon gamma (IFNγ) play an important
role in pathogenesis of autoimmune disease. Herein, we tried to assess the serum levels of
IL17a and IFN-gamma in cirrhotic HCV infected patients with autoimmune thyroiditis.
Serum samples were collected from 183 cirrhotic HCV infected patients. Sera were
screened for antinuclear antibody (ANA) by ELISA and those who were positive for ANA
(n=40) were screened for Thyroid peroxidase (TPO) antibodies by indirect
Immunofluorescence. IL17a and IFNγ serum level were measured by ELISA in ANA
positive HCV group (n=40), ANA negative HCV group (n=24) and compared to a healthy
control group (N=24). Forty patients (21.8%) were found positive for ANA. Seventeen
patients were reported positive for TPO (42.5%). Serum IL17a and IFN-gamma levels
were significantly higher in TPO, ANA- positive group than ANA- negative group
(P<0.005),(P<0.05)and control group (P<0.0001),(P=0.09) respectively. The elevated
serum level of IL17a and IFN-gamma in cirrhotic HCV patients with autoimmune
thyroiditis suggests that these cytokines play a role in the pathogenesis of autoimmune
disorders related to HCV extrahepatic manifestations.