RANTES (regulated on activation, normal T cell expressed and secreted) is a member of a large supergene family of proinflammatory cytokines called C-C chemokines and it is expressed by T lymphocytes, fibroblasts, endothelial cells, platelets, mesangial cells, and renal tubular epithelial cells. RANTES is chemotactic for eosinophils, basophils, monocytes/macrophages, and CD4 + memory T cells. This chemokine plays an important role in allergic inflammation and autoimmune responses in a variety of diseases, such as asthma and rheumatoid arthritis. However, there have been few studies on RANTES in liver disease. In an attempt to assess the relationships between plasma RANTES levels and the stages of primary biliary cirrhosis (PBC), the present study was designed to measure plasma RANTES levels in plasma by the ELISA in patients with PBC and chronic hepatitis C (CHC) and liver cirrhosis (LC) and in healthy subjects. Plasma RANTES levels in patients with PBC were significantly higher than in those with LC and in healthy subjects. They were also significantly higher in stages I and II of PBC (group A) than in stages III and IV of PBC (group B). There was a significant correlation between peripheral eosinophil counts and plasma RANTES levels. A significant correlation was also noted between the grade of eosinophil infiltration and the plasma RANTES levels. It was concluded RANTES plays an important role in the early stages of PBC.
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