Evaluation of Interleukin-32 and cyclooxygenase-2 expression in HAM/TSP patients and HTLV-1 asymptomatic carriers

Document Type : Original Article


1 Immunology Research Center, Inflammation and Inflammatory Diseases Division, Faculty of Medicine, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran

2 Department of Neurology, Faculty of Medicine, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran

3 Cellular and Molecular Research Center, Research Institute for Health Development, Kurdistan University of Medical Sciences, Sanandaj, Iran

4 Department of Microbiology, School of Medicine, Alborz University of Medical Sciences, Karaj, Iran

5 Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran


Objective(s): HTLV-1 associated myelopathy/tropical spastic paraparesis (HAM/TSP) is a neuroinflammatory disorder associated with HTLV-1. Cytokines and inflammatory mediators have a major role in forming inflammation in HAM/TSP patients. This study aimed to measure the levels of IL-32, a proinflammatory cytokine associated with autoinflammatory disorders, and also cyclooxygenase -2 (COX-2) as a key mediator of inflammatory pathways in HAM/TSP patients and HTLV-1 asymptomatic carriers (ACs).
Materials and Methods: Peripheral blood monocyte cells (PBMCs) were isolated from HAM/TSP patients, ACs, and healthy controls (HCs), and DNA and RNA were extracted to evaluate HTLV-1 proviral load (PVL) and expression of IL-32 and COX-2, using real-time PCR. Serum levels of IL-32 were determined by using an ELISA assay.
Results: The expression level of IL-32 was significantly higher in ACs compared with HAM/TSP patients and HCs (p 0.05, respectively). There were no statistically significant differences in the expression levels of Cox-2 and protein levels of IL-32 between the study groups.  HTLV-1 PVL was higher in HAM/TSP patients compared with ACs.
Conclusion:  Results showed increased mRNA levels of IL-32 in ACs. Since HTLV-1 PVL in ACs is lower than in HAM/TSP patients, it could be concluded that IL-32 might be an HTLV-1 inhibitor that seems to control virus replication. Despite the difference in IL-32 mRNA levels between study groups, no statistically significant differences were observed in IL-32 serum levels. Also, there were no significant differences in COX-2 expression.


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