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Clinical and Developmental Immunology
Volume 2012, Article ID 247973, 4 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2012/247973
Research Article

B-Cell-Activating Factor Affects the Occurrence of Thyroid Autoimmunity in Chronic Hepatitis C Patients Treated with Interferon Alpha

1Fourth Department of Internal Medicine, Teikyo University Mizonokuchi Hospital, 3-8-3 Mizonokuchi, Kawasaki-shi, Kanagawa 213-8507, Japan
2Central Laboratory, Teikyo University Mizonokuchi Hospital, 3-8-3 Mizonokuchi, Kawasaki-shi, Kanagawa 213-8507, Japan
3Delta Clinic, 2-5-1 Kusunokidai, Tokorozawa-shi, Saitama 359-0037, Japan

Received 18 October 2011; Revised 25 November 2011; Accepted 25 November 2011

Academic Editor: Ana Lepique

Copyright © 2012 Yusuke Kajiyama 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.

Abstract

Chronic hepatitis C (CHC) patients frequently suffer from thyroid disorders during interferon therapy. However, the mechanism remains unclear. In this study, we investigated the association between serum B-cell-activating factor belonging to the TNF family (BAFF) levels and the presence of antithyroid peroxidase antibody (anti-TPO) in CHC patients treated with pegylated interferon alpha and ribavirin combination therapy. Six months after the therapy, anti-TPO antibody was detected in 10 (males, 1; females, 9) of 50 patients. The mean age of these patients was higher than that of the anti-TPO-negative patients (61 yr versus 55 yr). Before treatment, the serum BAFF levels of the anti-TPO-positive patients were higher than those of the anti-TPO-negative patients. After starting therapy, the serum BAFF levels of both the anti-TPO-positive and -negative patient groups were elevated. Our findings suggest that the serum BAFF concentration before therapy can predict the risk of thyroid autoimmunity in elderly female patients with CHC.