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Cytokines, chemokines and leukotrienes profile and signature analysis in HTLV-1 infection as an evidence of disease progression

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A cross-sectional study evaluated the cytokines, chemokines and leukotrienes profiles as possible biomarkers of progression to HTLV-1 associated myelopathy (HAM).


Serum samples from 21 healthy blood donors (HBD), 27 asymptomatic carriers (ASC), 32 possible HAM (pHAM) and 28 HAM individuals were tested for cytokines (IL-6, IFN-γ, TNF-α, IL-2, IL-4 and IL-10), chemokines ( RANTES, MCP1, IL-8, MIG and IP-10) and leukotrienes (CysLTs and LTB-4). For each molecule tested, the HTLV-1 individuals were classified as low or high-producers taking the global median index of the HBD group as a cut off.


When comparing AS and pHAM individuals, AS were high-producers of IP-10 and low-producers of RANTES; pHAM were high-producers of IL-2 and low of IL-8. Besides, AS individuals presented a strong positive correlation between the regulatory cytokines IL-10 with IL-4 and between both with the pro-inflammatory cytokines IL-2 and IL-6; a negative correlation was found between RANTES and IL-2. HAM were high-producers of IL-6, IFN-γ, IP-10, LTB4, IL-4, MIG, IL-10, IL-2, presented a positive correlation of TNF-α and IFN-γ with IL-6, but this group had a positive correlation of CysLT with IL-10, IL-4 and TNF-α, contrasting with other groups.


HAM displayed a unique signature of inflammation, which was strengthened by CysLT and not counterbalanced by IL-4 and IL-10. This signature was observed in pHAM to a lower extent, becoming more evident in HAM. This profile may indicate disease progression and may serve as prognostic markers in future studies.

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Correspondence to Denise U Gonçalves.

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  • Infectious Disease
  • Negative Correlation
  • Serum Sample
  • Signature Analysis
  • Prognostic Marker