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Disease Markers
Volume 2014, Article ID 965971, 6 pages
Research Article

Serum YKL-40 Levels and Chitotriosidase Activity in Patients with Beta-Thalassemia Major

1Center for Integrated Research, Department of Laboratory Medicine and Microbiology, Campus Bio-Medico University of Rome, 00128 Rome, Italy
2Center of Microcitemia, 95123 Catania, Italy
3IRMA, Acireale, 95024 Catania, Italy
4Department of Surgery and Cancer, Parturition Research Group, Institute of Reproduction and Developmental Biology, Imperial College London, London W12 0NN, UK
5Department of Chemical Sciences, University of Catania and Institute of Biomolecular Chemistry, CNR, 95125 Catania, Italy

Received 31 October 2013; Accepted 29 January 2014; Published 8 April 2014

Academic Editor: Yi-Chia Huang

Copyright © 2014 Maria Musumeci et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background. YKL-40 association with human disease has been the object of many years of investigation. β-thalassemia patients are affected by hepatic siderosis, which determines a fibrotic process and tissue remodelling. Chitotriosidase has been found to be increased in thalassemic patients returning to normal in patients submitted to bone marrow transplantation. YKL-40 is associated with macrophage activation in liver and in other tissues. The aim of the study was to analyse the level of serum YKL-40 and plasma chitotriosidase activity of patients with beta-thalassemia to assess whether their expression correlates with liver disease and degree of liver siderosis. Methods. Expression of YKL-40 and chitotriosidase as a marker of inflammation in 69 thalassemic patients were evaluated. We sought to investigate whether these two chitinases could be considered as a significant biomarker to evaluate therapy effectiveness. Results. Surprisingly we found normal value of YKL-40. We, also, analysed chitotriosidase activity in the same patients that was slightly increased as a consequence of macrophage activation. Conclusions. These data would suggest a good treatment for these patients.