Objectives: Tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) plays a key role in the immune response. An elevated plasma level of TNF-α was repeatedly observed in patients with active liver injury or cirrhosis regardless of the aetiology. The G/A transition at position -308 in the promoter region have been shown to influence TNF-α expression. In this study, we aimed to evaluate the impact of TNF-α -308 G/A functional polymorphism on fibrosis severity in Tunisian Hepatitis C Virus (HCV)-infected patients. Methods: TNF-α -308 G/A polymorphism was evaluated by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) amplification followed by Restriction Fragment Length Polymorphism (RFLP) method in 53 chronic hepatitis C patients. Single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) frequencies were compared with regard to liver fibrosis severity as assessed by the METAVIR scoring system (F1-F2; n=22 versus F3-F4; n=31). Results: The genotype distribution of the TNF-α -308 G/A polymorphism among the HCV-infected patients was as follows: GG: 67.9%, GA: 32.1%, AA: 0%. With regard to fibrosis score, no significant differences in TNF-α genotype distribution were observed between F1-F2 and F3-F4 patients (p=0.15). Conclusion: No significant association between TNF-α -308 polymorphism and and the severity of liver fibrosis was found in our Tunisian cohort.
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