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Increased Gene Expression of TGF-β in Peripheral Blood Mononuclear Cells From Renal Transplant Patients With Polyomavirus BK Viremi

Yin, Wen Yao1,2

doi: 10.1097/

1Surgery, Dalin Tzu Chi General Hospital, Chia I, Taiwan; 2Surgery, Hualien University Hospital, Hualien, Taiwan.

We aimed to investigate the roles of cytokines during polyomavirus BK (BKV) reactivation in renal transplant patients. Forty-eight renal allograft recipients were enrolled in this study. Their sera BKV viral load and mRNA expression levels of pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines, in peripheral blood mononuclear cells was measured by real-time polymerase chain reaction. Renal transplant patients with BKV viremia were older than those without BKV viremia. Gene expression levels of interleukin (IL)-2 (10.04 ± 2.63 vs. 8.70 ± 2.40, P = 0.049) and transforming growth factor (TGF)-β (12.58 ± 2.59 vs. 10.89 ± 1.91, P =0.015) were significantly increased in BKV viremia (+) renal transplant patients. Multivariate logistic regression analysis reveal that mRNA expression levels of TGF-β (P = 0.032), but not IL-2 (P =0.083), significantly correlated with the presence of BKV viremia. Sera BKV viral loads showed a positive correlation with patient age and the levels of TGF-β and IL-6 mRNA. After adjusting for age and sex in the regression model, both age and TGF-β mRNA levels maintained a significant positive association with sera BKV viral loads. In conclusion, expression levels of TGF-β correlated with both BKV viremia positivity and sera BKV viral loads in renal transplant patients.

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